What do Martin Luther King, Fidel Castro and Winston Churchill have in common? They are considered to be amongst the greatest speakers the globe has ever seen, possessing the unique ability to inspire loyalty and trust from their listeners.
Brilliant speakers can challenge beliefs, change mindsets and spark action. Their power and influence can be used to steer listeners in a desired direction. While it is a much sought-after trait it takes practice to cultivate this skill.
Capturing the attention of an audience is no easy feat, especially in the 21st century where life is fast-paced and attention is seen as a valuable commodity. But as is shown in the case of these great orators there is no limit to what you can achieve once you have captured the hearts and minds of people.
So what makes a great speaker?
“In my opinion a great speaker is someone that grabs and holds the audience's attention right from the first action or word, keeping them at the edge of their seats and involved throughout.”, says Phillip Verwey, the course leader of a dynamic training programme which focuses on presenting to technical audiences.
Unfortunately many speakers are not aware of the bad habits that could detract from their presentations.
For example lack of a clear focus, talking too long or presenting too much technical information could become tedious and boring for listeners.
Sometimes presenters are also afraid to ask questions because they don't want to lose control of the discussion or fear that they won't know the answer. This is a mistake as audiences like to engage and are more likely to remember what is said if participation is encouraged.
According to Verwey the audience will likely lose interest if the speaker ignores questions, loses his/her way during the presentation, or if it seems that the presentation is all about the speaker.
The first step to delivering a Technical presentation is to prepare a clear and distinct opening that will grab the audience's attention.
“Secondly it must have a well-prepared and synergistic main body of content and most important of all it has an ending that leaves the audience energised and invigorated to take action.”
“Know your subject matter and be 100% prepared.” says Verwey.
“Lastly, leave them wanting more at the end.”
“I train people to get lost in the message and not themselves”. If you would like to improve your speaking skills, then you really should join the presentation course.
For more information about the Powerful Presentation Skills for Engineers, Scientists and Technical Professionals course held by Alusani Skills & Training Network® call 011 447 7470, email [email protected] or visit the website Alusani Skills & Training Network