7 Ways to Captivate Any Audience
Make sure that when they leave, they can't stop talking about you and your presentation.
We've all sat through that painful presentation, webinar or training that was so boring it felt like we were being punished for something we didn’t do. Low and unenergetic tone, no engagement and no excitement — an audience's worst nightmare. When presenting to audiences of any size, you need to make sure that your presentation is not only energetic, engaging and entertaining, but that it's also captivating and compelling. A little humor wouldn’t hurt either.
I know the big question on your mind is, "How do I captivate an audience?" Sure, you can stumble on some suggestions doing a quick Google search, but I'm going to share with you what's worked for me as a professional motivational speaker. Specifically, how I've been able to captivate any audience within just a few seconds, keeping them engaged and tuned in till the very end.
Strange as it may seem, being in a wheelchair gives me an advantage, because I automatically arouse curiosity. When I get on stage, most people are already asking themselves; What happened to this guy? Why is he in a wheelchair? Was he in an accident? Was he in the military? What's his story?
You get the point. However, once I satisfy their curiosity, I still need to keep them engaged and captivated. Here's how I do it.
Keep arousing their curiosity
Most people are interested in how people in wheelchairs really live their lives on a daily basis. They want the behind-the- scenes information, and I have a unique way of sprinkling it throughout my presentation. You may not be in a wheelchair, but I'm sure you have something you can use to pique their curiosity. The key is to remember to keep the audience wanting more.
Get them engaged from the beginning.
This makes them feel connected and like they're a part of the presentation. Engaging with your audience also allows you to learn more about them. Ask them to raise their hands or give a high-five to the person that’s next to them. This gets them to connect with you and others. Ask them to stand up and shout a phrase like, “I’m ready to win!” This keeps their blood flowing and excitement high. The main goal is to keep them engaged and focused on the presentation until the very end.
Ask thought-provoking questions.
This gets the audience's mental juices flowing as they think about what they really want out of life. It allows them to take a moment and think about what’s really important and what things matter the most to them. It allows them to feel more connected with what you’re talking about. It ultimately expands their thought process and gets them thinking outside the box, which is where all the magic happens.
Everyone enjoys a good laugh, and a good laugh can tremendously change the energy in a room. Humor allows you to break down any invisible walls or barriers and creates an environment of connectivity between you and your audience that helps you come across more relatable and likeable. A good laugh will not only leave your audience remembering how good you made them feel, but it’ll help them remember your talking points and ultimately leave a lasting impression.
Share powerful/memorable stories that make a point
This allows your presentation to come alive and take your audience on a powerful journey with you. Telling a compelling story helps you connect with the audience on a deeper level. It shows them that they’re not alone and can give them insight into their own personal or professional lives. The goal here is to have the audience leaving the event and talking about how inspiring your stories were and how they impacted them to take more action and reach higher levels of success.
Have them take notes
Many studies have shown that people who write things down have an increased level of retaining the information being received. It also has a magical way of boosting your creativity and gives you the motivation to accomplish your goals and get things done more quickly. Asking them to write things down will not only help them stay engaged, but will give them the opportunity to walk away with a plethora of information.
Always close on a high note
The grand finale of a presentation is important because typically, the first thing that most people remember is the last thing that you said. It can determine how your audience responds and remembers you. This is where you want to make sure that you leave them with such a bang that they’re talking about how good you and your presentation were.
Now that I've given you some tips and strategies on how to captivate any audience, I want to challenge you to incorporate them into your next presentation and see how the sparks fly.
Cheers to captivating your next audience.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer