To make your next speaking engagement a more memorable event, utilize these tips to create a more relaxed atmosphere, and a connection with your audience that is bound to have them remembering your message long after your presentation is over.
- Greet your attendees at the door – How often does a speaker usually stand at the door greeting their attendees? More often, you will find them up on stage getting ready for their presentation) when you walk in. Incorporating a personal touch such as welcoming people with a handshake and a smile as they arrive will stick in their minds after the presentation is over. Make sure to arrive early to prepare, and then be there to welcome your attendees as they arrive. By making yourself memorable in a positive way, you will build rapport and a connection with your audience even before you begin speaking.
- Speak to Audience – When writing your speech, make sure to think about what the audience wants to hear from you and what you can provide that is going to be of value to them. Ask yourself some questions about the audience before you start in order to get to know your audience. What are they like and how can you solve their problem? What is it you want them to do, and how best can you reach them to get them to do it? Ellen Onieal Little, Business Coach, Speaker, and Trainer for over 25 years, who has assisted in the opening of approximately 180 businesses in Brevard County, suggests you come up with a topic that people are interested in hearing about. She states, “There has to be some emotional element to whatever story you’re telling,” so finding an interesting topic with an emotional element will create the most memorable speech.
- Keep your message simple –You should deliver your message “in such a way that people understand it,” says Ellen, who has traveled all over the U.S. speaking to, teaching, and training small business owners, entrepreneurs, and displaced workers. You do not need to have a flowery message or long speech. According to Ellen, it is the “delivery method of telling a story” that makes a speech memorable. A good tip is, tell them what you’re going to say. Say it. Then tell them what you said. But do not forget to do it in such a way that forges an emotional connection with your audience; use things like shocking statistics, repeatable sound bits, or evocative visuals to incorporate a STAR (“something they’ll always remember”)
- Inform and repeat – By informing your audience, they are able to retain that information after you have left the podium. Make sure to lie out key points in the introduction of the speech, reiterate them (within reason) throughout the body of the speech, and then repeat them again in the conclusion. The restatement and/or repetition of an idea throughout your speech not only promotes clarity, but encourages the acceptance of an idea, which they will then remember and act upon back in their daily life.
- Use Visuals – Using visual aids such as photos, graphs, or other infographics is another way to make your speech memorable. These have the advantage of providing the information of your speech in an easily digestible form, plus they have the ability to be uniquely captivating. Small Business Trends suggests you banish all words from your presentation because people think in pictures. Instead, try filling the screen with a beautiful and compelling image (Image 1) that ingrains within their memory the key point you are trying to make.
- Incorporate Aromatherapy – For centuries, the link between rosemary essential oil (Image 2) and increased memory retention was just folklore, but more recently, science has begun to prove that this oil can increase alertness and improve memory. Lightly diffuse a few drops of this essential oil in the room you are speaking beforehand, and do not forget to add a few drops or sprinkles of lavender (Image 3) for it’s own relaxation benefits, putting your audience at ease, creating a more receptive atmosphere for your message. Not only will it create a memorable event for your audience, but may help your attendees recall your message in the future when catching a whiff of either of those scents, thanks to the now-known link between memory and scent.
- Practice – In order to deliver a presentation that you know others would not only want to sit through, but also take something memorable from, you want to make sure you practice, practice, practice. The best way to do this is through videotape, Ellen states. Record yourself giving the speech, and then review the replay. She says as painful as this is, she has learned more from watching herself on video than anybody ever giving her feedback.
Following these tips will not only connect you with your audience right from the beginning, but will leave them remembering you, your speech, and your message for them to utilize far into the future.