Top Tips for Keeping Your Audience Interested
Keeping your audience interested is the key to successful presentations and training sessions. It doesn’t matter how valuable the material is that you are delivering if everybody has stopped paying attention. There are many things you can do to maintain the focus of your audience. You will learn all about them and much more besides if you enrol in a course such as the Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, which is a good idea if you want to make a career in the training sector. In the meantime, here are a few tips that should help stop you losing the attention of your group.
Keep your audience informed
People generally don’t like uncertainty, so it is a good idea to give your audience as much information up front as possible. This means telling them things like what form the training will take, what is expected of them, what topics will be covered, how long each session will last, and when breaks are scheduled. If you are conducting training away from the delagates’ usual place of work, you should let them know basic details such as where the toilets are, and where and when they can get food and drink. Removing uncertainty about basic details such as these will free their minds to concentrate on your presentation.
Make eye contact
Nothing will make you lose your audience’s attention more than failing to make eye contact. Looking at your audience instinctively draws them in and will make them listen. Of course if you are presenting to a large number of people you cannot make eye contact with every individual, but you can still use this technique to good effect. Divide the room into sections and make a point of looking at one after another. This will ensure that no part of your audience feels ignored and will help maintain the focus of the entire group.
Use group activities
Interspersing periods of speech with group activities is one of the most effective tools for maintaining interest. This technique will keep your presentation fresh and force audience members to engage with your material. Sometimes you will face a little resistance from group members who may want to just sit there and let you do the work, but as long as you keep the activities fun and light hearted, you will find that soon everybody is happy to get involved.
Pitch your presentation well
It is important that you pitch your presentation to match your audience’s needs and capabilities. Make it too complicated and they will struggle to understand and will soon give up. Make it too simple and they will quickly become bored. To avoid both these problems you need to research your audience in advance. Find out what they know already and what they are expecting to get from the session and plan accordingly. You also need to be able to empathise. Take particular notice of the audience reaction at the start of your presentation. Look for signs that you have not quite pitched it correctly and be prepared to adapt if necessary.
These are just a few of the many methods of keeping your audience interested. For a more detailed and comprehensive approach to improving your training or presentation skills, a course such as the TAA is the ultimate solution.