How to Keep Your Audience Interested in What You Have to Say: Easy Tips for Speakers and Presenters

Many speaker and presenters find it a challenge to keep their audience riveted and absorbed in their presentations and talks. They worry about being able to maintain the right level of entertainment and information or building a rapport with their listeners. Whether you’re an online or off-line speaker, if you need to have tools and techniques to help break up your talk and retain audience attention, this article will provide you with quick and easy tips and techniques to leave them asking for more.

Most people have a concentration span of about 20 minutes before their mind begins to wander. The easiest and one of the most effective ways to break up your talk is to involve your audience. Interactive questioning, poll taking with a show of hands, getting them to repeat words or phrases or respond as a group, are great ways to draw in your listeners in an off-line setting.

If speaking in an online event such as a teleseminar or webinar, ask them to answer a poll or write a comment on the webinar platform or connect via a social media platform such as Facebook or Twitter and comment there.

You need to judge how often and to what degree you want to bring in the audience into the presentation – too many interruptions and you’ll break the flow of your talk or overrun your time. For the same reason, keep questions from the floor to the end as part of your usual Q&A slot – keep control of the interaction so that it enhances not detracts from the points you want to make.

Balance and judgement are also needed if you want to use props or comedy to engage with your audience. Inappropriate jokes or over-elaborate, vulgar or overly complex props are clearly out of the question. But gentle humour can build a rapport with your audience while suitable visual aids can highlight a point or concept to help them reach a better understanding more quickly.

If your audience can’t relate to what you’re saying, you’ll soon lose their support and interest. A key way to build a bond and keep your audience listening is to be relevant and genuine. People don’t want to be talked at – they want to feel that you’re sharing your knowledge as part of a common experience. Hearing about how you have dealt with your mistakes or difficulties, how you’ve overcome challenge and adversity is more interesting and relevant to them than hearing of unqualified success.

Keep this sense of sharing and intimacy through your body language and voice. Keep eye contact with people from all parts of the room; smile frequently which will again strengthen bonds and help your body to unwind. Make sure your body language is open and expressive – people respond to confidence, authority and someone who is relaxed and comfortable. For virtual events, show this warmth through your voice. Remember that your smile can be “heard” so keep smiling as you would if were onstage.

If the facilities are available, ask for a remote slide control so that you’re not tied to the computer to move along your PowerPoint slides. If they don’t have one, then break the routine by occasionally walking away from the computer to talk through a slide and then walking back to move the slide along. If the room size allows, you could move along the aisle space when you’re interacting with your audience, and then return to the stage area when you resume your talk.

Avoid Death-By-PowerPoint presentations. Don’t show over-wordy slides for every point you make in your speech. The audience should be listening to you, not reading long paragraphs on screen. Use the slides to emphasise and highlight only salient points and provide strong visual images that reinforce or explain a point quickly. New versions of PowerPoint allow you to easily embed videos and audio media – again judicious use can create a powerful impact for both online and offline events.

A speaker who clearly understands their topic and is passionate and enthused about it, is someone that an audience will respect and warm to. If they can see your obvious enthusiasm to share and connect with them, they will be only too eager to respond in kind. By offering content that is relevant, informative, addresses their issues and concerns, and which is tailored to their level, you’ll keep your audience interested in what you have to say.

Ideas to Help You Choose Presents for Men

Picking the right presents for men is quite challenging for some, especially if you’re totally clueless. But mind you, all you need is an eye to know which gift you can give that he’ll surely like. Whether it be your friend, your father, your hubby or a special someone, all you need to do is observe. Here are a few ideas that might help you decide on the right present to give.

Men love gadgets.

If you see that your hubby is so fascinated by the new iPhone 4S or if he loves video games, then electronic gadgets are good gifts for him. You can always surf the internet for new releases of action games and cool gadgets like iPods or PSPs. You can also visit the nearest electronic and digital store near your place. If budget is not an issue, you’ll have a wider choice of items.

Outdoor gear for men who love the outdoors.

If your friend loves to go hiking or if your father loves to go fishing, then outdoor gear is a perfect present for them. You can buy a pair of hiking shoes or a complete set of camping equipment. A nice set of fishing gears or a durable fishing rod will be perfect for your dad’s birthday. If you’re low in budget, you may want to buy simple presents for men like a fishing hat or a trendy pair of sunglasses.

A ticket to his favorite team’s game will be great.

If your special someone is a person who loves sports, then it’s a great idea to treat him to his favorite team’s game. You can buy tickets online and reserve the most comfortable seats where he can see the action as it happens.

Cheap presents for men – it’s the thought that counts.

Presents for men need not be very expensive. Even with low budget, you can always find the best gift for your special someone. There are gifts that you can give for all occasions, like T-shirts, cologne, necktie, wallet, organizers and a lot more.

You may want to add some personal touches to your gifts by adding a short note or by customizing the items. There are stores offering customized T-shirts where you can choose from hundred of designs or you can make your own. You can have your pictures printed on the shirt and a short dedication. You can likewise do it on mugs, organizers or even on ties. Presents for men are simply gifts your loved ones love.

5 Negotiation Tips for Women

Statistically soeaking, women’s median income have been 19% less than men’s – at least in the United States. Of course, there are numerous variables involved including age, occupations, hours worked, etc. that contribute to the lower median income, but after being controlled for; it’s been found that the comparable incomes have been lower for women. One reason is that women often find it more difficult to negotiate wages than men. To help with that, here are 5 tips to aid you in your next negotiation:

1) Don’t go in cold

All too often, we’ve seen women enter negotiations ‘cold’, not having rehearsed the negotiation in their mind before the event, nor have they rehearsed the various conversational threads and points that might be raised during the negotiation. While it is not possible to predict the actual conversation, most of the points in a good performance review / salary negotiation should already have been covered beforehand. Rehearse your answers in your mind or with someone else and you’ll feel more comfortable when the negotiation does happen.

2) Keep written notes of your contributions. Numbers matter.

If this is your initial salary negotiation on being hired, keep notes of your past accomplishments on hand. If you are negotiating a raise, you should have been keeping notes of your accomplishments with the company – everything from major projects you have managed, new tasks and responsibilities you have taken on to money you have saved the company. Anything you can nail down to hard numbers will help even more during the negotiation by giving you hard data to back up your requests.

3) Know your worth

You can’t negotiate if you don’t understand what you are really worth. Use websites like PayScale and talk to others in the field to get an understanding of what you are worth. Of course there are industry and company differences, but without a benchmark it’s impossible to tell how well you are doing.

4) Numbers first

If at all possible, let the employer name their number first. In addition, their first offer (or counter-offer) is often not their final offer.

5) Not about money

Do not forget – the negotiation is not just about wages. Secondary benefits like telecommuting, sick days, vacation days, an expense account can all be negotiated. Often, a cash-strapped business might not be able to offer direct salary compensation but will be flexible in other areas. Lastly, a final tip – you can also negotiate to come back to review your accomplishments in a shorter time-frame than 1 year.