13 Secrets of Effective Presentation Skills – Secret #10

Secret #10 – Be engaged and engaging

Any presenter has 3 major obligations or duties to their audience. One of them is to be natural, to be you, not to act. Another is to get your message across. The third is to be interesting and engaging.

We’ve addressed the first two, now let’s deal with the third. So how do you become interesting? Well, be interested in the subject and let that show. But there are times when we have to deliver stuff that definitely isn’t too interesting – often around policies and procedures – although for some, these can be fascinating. Whatever floats your boat! If you find yourself in the position of talking about stuff that bores you, then be aware – it leaks. It shows. And if YOU aren’t engaged by it, how can you expect your audience to be?

So, when faced with this from time to time – as most of us are – then PLEASE be BRIEF. Get through it quickly, so there is less chance of your lack of interest leaking out. Much better to do that than bore everyone and yourself by wading through turgid material. It’s hard to get them back once you lose them. So avoid losing them in the first place.

How do you engage? Come across with some energy(volume) and enthusiasm. Avoid being false, but do ramp up the energy and say what YOU want to say – rather than a presentation that someone else has “written” for you. It is very hard to enthuse sincerely from another’s material. That doesn’t mean that you have to reinvent the wheel, but do use your own “voice” and style. Resist wherever possible the edicts of others to put you into a stylistic straight jacket. Of course, your company wants you to stay “on message” – but that doesn’t mean that you need sound like a talking glove puppet – which many do. You know this – you’ve heard them! If you’re unlucky, you may even work for or with them.

Come across with genuine sparkle and enthusiasm – and your own unique style. You won’t have to work at this – it is natural. That’s the secret. But to allow yourself to be natural and willing to engage, be engaged in your subject. Know your content well, but not word perfect – you need some spontaneity. Have a good start and powerful structure that works for you and supports you. You’ll find this explained in the free book “99 Tips for Effective & Powerful Presenting”

In summary, vary your pitch and pace, vary your volume and PAUSE.

The next secret about being engaging will be with you in a couple of days!



Best wishes