Do you know the difference between a Monologue & a Dialogue? Yes. I 'know' that you 'know'. Ha!! Ha!!
It often happens with me while presenting that as soon as I switch my presentation from dialogue to monologue, the audience starts losing interest in the presentation. And, it happens with everyone. Even the best of the speakers feel & experience this. Human beings have been designed by God like this. They like stories. They like conversations. They want to learn through discussion. And, your interactive skills are a means to create a great presentation.
Let's talk about a few techniques to engage the audience so that our next presentation becomes a monologue, rather than a dialogue.
Sometimes, the nature of your presentation is such that many members of the audience already now the something about the topic. Just keep a shape containing a question with a picture background in the slide.
For example, if it is a presentation on 'Negotiation Skills', you can just keep a shape in the slide containing a question 'What is Negotiation?' And, then take opinions from the audience and write those opinions on the whiteboard. You won't believe. But, this small thing will make your presentation extremely interactive and interesting.
Give small gifts
There is famous saying 'The fruit of the hard work is the sweetest.' Just imagine, you are an article in a CA Firm. You have just got a stipend of just Rs. 1,500. You spend Rs. 50 to buy a coffee out of it. You may have bought coffee earlier out of the pocket money given to you by your parents.
But, compare the two coffees. Certainly, the coffee bought out of the stipend earned by you is going to taste sweeter than the later one. Yes. Right. Even in presentations, when you reward the audience with even a 50 Paisa chocolate, they love it. Why? Because, it contains the fragrance of their hard work. They have earned it. So, always reward the audience with such small gifts. The audience will love you. The session will definitely become more and more interactive.
Give opportunity to the audience to speak.
Audience loves to talk. Don't assume that presentation is the platform for only the presenter. It can also be a platform for the audience to talk. It may normal for you to give presentations. But, for certain audience members, it may be a lifetime opportunity. While presenting, find small slots of time where the audience can speak as well. Let audience members talk to each other Divide audience into groups. Create some competition among them. Let them google and ask them to make immediate presentations on paper. Give them half an hour to prepare for a topic. Let them talk with each other.
Let them think. They will enjoy. Don't take your presentations lightly. Treat them as an opportunity to speak, express & share. Use interactions to make them memorable.
CA Pankaj Jain is a trainer in Presentation Skills & GST.
To enrol his Online Certificate Course "Art of Effective Presentation" at CAclubIndia, click here.