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Presenting to large audiences, part II

Presenting to Large Audiences, part I

What to do when, on a stage, facing more people than you can count

Have you ever stood on a stage to present in front of so many people you couldn’t even count them? Then you’ll know that presenting to a large audience can be intimidating and even nerve-wracking. Let us guide you through the necessary steps to take, to make sure that your presentations will sweep large audiences off their feet. In this week’s blog, you’ll find the first 5 out of 10 tips.

#1. Know your audience

Know what type of people you’ll be presenting to. This is key because you’ll want to tailor your presentation to them. If the audience consists of different types of people, say, one group of CEO’s and one group of administrators, try to find stories that both groups can relate to.

#2. Give 'em what they want

After knowing your audience, it’s important to speak the ‘language’ of your audience. Choose content people in the audience will want to hear, and provide examples that your listeners will understand, in a tone that they’re used to. Say, your audience consists mostly of bankers; your tone of voice will be overall serious and the examples you use will describe scenes that are familiar to your bankers. Not only will they better understand you; It will also help you connect.

#3. Write a script - include jokes

Large audiences have been known to make presenters nervous. You cannot totally prevent this from happening, but you can be prepared. Many speakers will say that performing in big halls never ceases to make them nervous, but they have learned to deal with it. Having notes at your disposal will help. Some people like to write everything out, and some work with bullet points. Do what’s most helpful to you.

Large audiences like to laugh, so do include a joke or two that’s appropriate for the occasion.

#4. Start with an original Icebreaker

Beginnings are important. That’s no different from the start of your presentation. Many presenters use an icebreaker to help them kick-off their narrative and warm up the audience. This is, for example, a question or poll. There are tons of tools out there to literally connect with your public. At conferences, for example, the Mentimeter tool is used to poll the people attending a presentation. An excellent way to start your story, as it invites people to connect to your topic and to interact.

#5. Tell a story

Don’t forget to take your audience by the hand so they’ll keep listening. A good story has a beginning, middle and end, and often a hero who faces a challenge and overcomes it. Feel free to check out the Mr.Prezident blog for more tips about storytelling.

For some inspiration on this topic, check out Pat Kelly’s satire on his self-proclaimed thought leadership.

This was part one of this blog, you can find more tips and tricks in the second part.

And if you need any help, feel free to contact us!


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