Just because you have something important to say, doesn’t necessarily mean people will listen.
Your presentation may offer answers to some of the most pressing problems in the world. Unfortunately, if you can’t find a way to connect with your audience, your words of wisdom may inevitably fall on deaf ears.
As a teacher, lecturer or trainer, public speaking is part and parcel of your job. Whether your audience consists of distracted students or seasoned professionals, you’re expected to be eloquent while maintaining some semblance of charisma throughout the seminar.
For many, this is a daunting exercise; for others, an exercise in futility.
Either way, it’s easy to blame a short attention span on a less-than-eager audience, when the problem may very well lie in your delivery. As a professional, here’s a checklist of things you should and shouldn’t be doing during a presentation.
DO: Make Eye Contact
This means relying on more than speech to engage with your students, and focusing equally on non-verbal communication tools, like eye contact. Similar to body language, which speaks volumes about your confidence and authority, consistent eye contact allows you to communicate your point of view with conviction and self-belief.
This can go a long way in shaping your students’ perception of you.
At the end of the day, the less you look your audience in the eye, the less likely they are to look at you. Communication is a two-way street; so, make the first move and lead the discussion.
DON’T: Over-rely on the Slides
One of the most common mistakes made by uninspiring speakers is over-relying on a slideshow.
Remember: your audience can also read what you’re reading. Instead of reproducing the same information in different words, simply take cues from the screen and build upon the topic with new information and ideas.
This is an excellent way to end the monotony and sustain interest with personalized content.
DO: Refer to Current Events
Another great way to connect with students is to enrich your discussion with current and relevant examples. This could include recent political debates, new business trends, and even pop cultural news—depending on the topic and context.
Contrary to popular opinion, sharing examples from the contemporary world are as important as sharing historical trivia. Current events are not only a great way to demonstrate cause-and-effect scenarios, but excellent working examples of complex educational theories.
DON’T: Go Off-Topic
As a lecturer, you’re only given a limited window of time to articulate your thoughts and ideas to the best of your ability. Unfortunately, lack of preparation may misdirect the flow of your presentation, and give rise to unnecessary debates that aren’t relevant to the topic.
Lengthy and haphazard lectures tend to confuse and alienate students, while wasting a lot of time. So, take time to prepare and time your presentation beforehand.
Remember: there’s more to education than transferring information. With a discernible rise in media technologies, the system of education doesn’t just inform students—it transforms them!
As a prominent video production company, capturing educational seminars and events, Turn-Turtle Educational Media specializes in cutting-edge media equipment—offering training and instructional design to help you inform, motivate and inspire.