Introduction | Message | Audience | Structure | Physical Aspects | Psychological Aspects

Contact with the audience

In the beginning | During the session

During the session

The attention-getters which one can use during a session are manifold. For practicability reasons they are divided into two groups: One focuses on creating a link between the audience and the topic. The other concerns the session’s rhythm.

Help the audience relate to the topic

The motto here is: The easier it is for the audience to relate, the better!

1. Find connections between your topic and your audience’s daily life

  • When did your audience get in touch with your topic for the first time? How did they feel? What reaction did it cause?
  • Where was your audience confronted with the topic you are talking about? Did they have problems with it? Did they disagree with someone else?

2. Extremes and unusual things attract our interest

  • People have a sixth sense for remembering unusual details
    - That the former Pope wore red socks
    - Einstein said he never brushed his teeth before midnight
  • Money, treasures, and valuables make people start dreaming and get creative
    - Do you know how many million Euros the damage can amount to, when you do not have our product to prevent this damage?

3. Thinking out of the box

  • Usually your audience already knows something about the topic you are presenting. To activate their knowledge try to make your audience think about the topic in an unusual context:
    - How would you explain to an alien/a little child what the topic is about?
    - What would you do without it? What is the actual function of the topic?

4. Let your audience experience what you are talking about

  • For his presentation, the curator of an experimental science museum had prepared a kit with pieces of paper, a mirror, marshmallows, tape and many other things. In the turn of the presentation he made the audience use every single item to imitate a little scientific experiment. This way he explained how his museum tried to make science so real that it triggers the interest in people to find out more. His notion was: To learn something we need to practice it, just that in school, science classes do not allow much space for it. Therefore, he claimed it was necessary to provide the room to experience it and that this was his museum’s aim. There was barely anyone not convinced of his idea afterwards.

5. The magic secret

  • Just by putting a container on the desk triggers people’s curiosity. It might make them return to the presentation again and again as they want to find out what is in the container. To be fair, though, one should say something about the box at the end if the question is not raised by the audience anyway.

6. Directly approach individuals

  • Verbally: use phrasing that directly addresses your audience. – Rhetorical we
  • With eye contact

7. Do not talk about yourself, but about the audience!

  • Address their hopes, wishes, needs

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