Presentation Variety: Spice up your audience engagement

Everyone likes a little variety.  A little change can make a big difference.  It’s true.  Variety is the spice of life. 

When speaking, variety should be the added spice in all of your presentations.  Most presenters don’t have enough variety in their talks.  When your delivery stays on one level, audiences will find you flat, dull, and boring.  You’ll need more than words to hold their attention. 

Space, Face, & Voice – 3 Elements to vary when speaking

Variety is essential to maintain audience engagement.  Change things up and your audience will stay attentive.  Even in situations when your audience can’t see you, like webinars, your delivery will be more effective better if you add some variety as you speak.

Spatial variety: Too many speakers lock themselves to a lectern or stick to one spot on a stage.  Move around.  Get close.  Action will cause your audience to stay alert as they follow your movement.  The ability to move about is a high level skill.  You’ll need to thoroughly know your information.  You also have to know the physical space where you are presenting.  I’ve seen a performer fall off a stage because they didn’t know where the stage ended.

Facial variety: Use your eyes and facial expressions to connect with your audience.  Look at those close to you and those who are far away.  Express yourself.  Add expressions that are appropriate for the content of your message.  If you are delivering bad news, don’t smile.  If it’s good news, facially express the joy.  Change your facial expressions as you address your audience.

Vocal variety: Talk in a monotone and you’ll put your audience to sleep. Yell your message and they’ll tune out. Start with a mid tone of volume and then add variety to your sound.  Change the tone.  Vary the pitch.  Slow the speed of your delivery.  One powerful way to make your audience re-engage is to add a pause.  Pause before giving a main point.  Pausing needs to be practiced.  It not as easy as it… sounds.

Audience – Magic Key #1 for Presentation Success

Vary the basic elements of space, face, and voice all of your presentations.  Change the elements as appropriate for each audience, message, and performing area.  Know your information inside and out so that you can focus on working variety into your presentations. You’ll not be able to leave the lectern that holds your notes, if you can’t present without them.

Could you have too much variety?  Maybe, but probably not.  To see how much you vary your space, face, and voice, video yourself.  It’s the only way to know what you do and how you sound.  A simple phone video will give you enough insight.  Once you review presentation, kick it up a notch by adding the spice of variety.

Sometimes you will not have the flexibility to vary all three elements to their fullest potential.  You may be on a seated panel of speakers. You are told to stay at the lectern due to lighting and sound.  In these situations, it’s critical to use as much facial and vocal variety as possible so that your audience stays engaged and attentive.

Add a little variety to the basic elements of your next presentation.  Spice up your presentations and leave your audience wanting more.

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About Charles Greene III

Charles Greene III is a true Presentation Magician. Working with Fortune 500 companies, he’s a magical spokesperson who delivers product and marketing messages at conferences around the globe. Through his company Corporate Shuffle, Charles has presented at meetings in Bermuda, China, Egypt, France, Mexico, Monaco, Sweden, and, of course, the United States. His clients span a variety of industries and include 3M, Alcon, Coca-Cola, Clorox, Frito-Lay, Johnson & Johnson, Panasonic, and Wells Fargo. Charles’ public speaking and presentation workshops are engaging, educational, and empowering. With more than 25 years of experience as an international corporate spokesperson, Charles leads by example. He captivates attention as he delivers critical presentation skills. His workshops cover the core skills of public speaking as well as presentation techniques learned from decades of corporate presenting. Charles is a guest columnist for Presentation Magazine. He’s been featured in Discover, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and The Robb Report. When not for revealing the secrets of better public speaking, Charles spends time collecting vintage magic posters, stone lithographs of magicians from 1890 – 1930. To see some of his collection, visit www.MagicPosterGallery.com. He can also make a mean gumbo. Charles was born in Hackensack, NJ. He currently lives in the historic Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.
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