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Theoretical input

AIDA | AIDA 2.O | 5 principles for a good presentation

The original AIDA model is ascribed to the advertising and sales pioneer Elmo Lewis and the year 1898. Back then Lewis postulated 4 principles to which advertisement should conform in order to attract buyers. During the 110 years of its existence, the models validity has not decreased and thus still plays a great role in advertisement.(2)
The AIDA model has, however, been expanded various times (e.g. AIDAS, AIDACS,..) and also further models have been created based on this model (e.g. DAGMAR,…).(3)
The basic idea of the AIDA model nowadays is also being recognized and applied in rhetoric, because as a speaker you also want to successfully ‘sell’ your ideas. In the light of this, the original AIDA model and one modulation of the model (AIDA 2.0) shall be introduced in the following.
The original AIDA model is, apart from advertising situations, especially used in those communicational situations, where the audience shall be convinced of an idea, person or topic (e.g. politics).This model can, however, also be of use in other communication situations.

  • A – Attention denominates the first phase of gaining the audience’s attention, e.g. at the beginning of a discourse. There are various methods you can use to make yourself the centre of attention:
    • Unexpected start: e.g. a quote or recent event; music;…
    • Optic ‘bate’: e.g. Pictures; short video sequences;…
    • Problem: e.g. a provoking statement
    Important! This phase should only take up a little amount of time.
    TIP: First attract the audience’s attention, and then introduce yourself. Otherwise it might happen that half of the audience doesn’t hear the introduction.
  • I – Interest after having gained the audience’s attention, you have to spark their interest or else you would lose their attention as quickly as you gained it. This part should take up 15% of your performance. In this part the topic and the presentation strategy (e.g. lecture, active participation …) shall be introduced and a connection with the audience shall be made.
    1. Introducing the topic -> highlight the value of the topic for the audience (e.g. referring to common knowledge, making the audience think about the topic by asking open questions)
    2. Explain the structure (topic and subtopics, time management, goal of the discourse)
    3. Connect with the audience (e.g. refer to their situation, include them in your speech (e.g. Do you know, when…?)
  • D – Desire refers to the evoking of the audience’s needs, meaning that the audience shall get the feeling that they and their wishes are being directly addressed and that the speaker is taking them into account. Thereby you can establish a very close connection to the topic, in which the audience can identify themselves.
    • Why is the topic important for the listeners?
    • How does this information benefit the listener?
    • In how far does the information given affect the listener?
  • A – Action defines the request to act. In the field of advertisement, this part denominates the becoming active of the customer, meaning he/she buys the product. In the field of rhetoric ‘Action’ first of all stands for winning your audience over. This request for action, however, also can include the invitation to the audience to e.g. reflect on the presented topic (e.g. by asking an open question at the end of the performance) or the request to act (e.g. to put into practice what they have learned from the presented information)(4).

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