How to Connect with Your Presentation Audience
A truly great presentation requires more than just well-researched facts and information. Overcoming the physical and emotional barriers between you and your audience and establishing a real connection with your audience is key.
Physical barriers can include anything from the distance between the audience and the stage, the position of the podium and where you as the presenter stand in relation to your audience. Each of these barriers has the potential to interfere with your connection to the audience.
There should be as little distance as possible between the audience and you. An easy way to achieve this is by walking up to your audience and forgoing a podium. Put yourself at the same level as the audience by sitting on the stage or even kneeling. This is especially effective with emotional content and when you want to create a friendlier atmosphere.
Emotional or mental barriers are much more difficult to remove than physical ones. They include the audience’s perception of the presenter and the topic, the general mood of the room and the presentation’s message.
Emotional obstacles create distance and can only be overcome with a great deal of sensitivity. The presenter must try to get on the same wavelength as the audience. A great way to do this is to talk to your audience before the presentation. A conversation allows you to get a feel for how and what the people in the room are thinking. This information can then be used during your presentation, which shows the audience that you listened and value their opinions.
A Personal Touch Instead of Pure Facts
Removing barriers enables you to build a strong connection to your audience. Talking to your audience before your presentation makes you appear relatable and open. When you turn this information into a story during the presentation, you demonstrate that your audience’s opinion is important to you. They will feel included and will engage more with your content. Pure facts are far less interesting than something you have a personal connection to.
To strengthen the positive impression you’ve made, stick around after your presentation. Answer questions and open up a dialogue. This will further increase your relatability and create a special bond with your audience that they won’t soon forget.