10 Elements of Engagement for Thought Leadership Presentation

I’m sure that you’ve encountered those lectures that you just dreaded going to, but had no choice and went anyway. I had a client that was giving a thought leadership presentation to an audience forced to be present because continuing education credits were on the line. Naturally this captured audience found other things to do like read newspapers, fall asleep, and play on phones, making even the best presentation ineffective. How do you overcome an uninterested audience? 1) Hook ’em – Much like a good book, a thought leadership presentation needs a good hook to capture interest quickly. 2) Humor – Liven the mood and ease the dread by adding humor to a presentation, poke fun at a ridiculous phone call or a recently encountered experience. Make sure that the humor you add is relevant to the topic and not obscene. 3) Keep It Real – Most of the presentations you’ve likely visited follow

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Simple Does Not Mean Dumb

Simple Does Not Mean Dumb! That is my rant because many speakers misunderstand “simplification” as “dumbing it down”, but that is simply not true. People avoid simplification because they think it weakens their message, in fact, it does the opposite. Thinking that you’re dumbing down your message so your audience can understand you is the wrong mindset and it is derogatory because your audience isn’t dumb. So I repeat myself, simple does not mean dumb! Sometimes this confusion about the purpose of simplification is why I do not work with some presenters. One prospective client told me, “I have to talk that way [at a higher level] because if I don’t, the prospect will doubt my expertise.” Studies about sales and understanding prove my experiences right. Have you ever heard someone say, “Wow, that person uses words and concepts that I don’t understand, he/she must be so smart that I must

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Over Your Audiences Heads

You might know by now that I worked at the local zoo for five years. It was an interesting experience, which propelled me to be a presentation coach. While at the zoo, my primary job was to educate about animal adaptations and environmental concerns. It was not written in the job description to translate the biological information into analogies that the public understood, but that came with the territory. Thus I was an interpreter, literally translating animal adaptations in order to explain their value to the audience regardless of age and education level. My time at the zoo elapsed, but I have retained the concepts needed to adjust my message to a basic level. Many industries, especially those technical industries, use heavy jargon, acronyms, and high-level vocabulary in their everyday conversations with colleagues. When it is time to convey that knowledge to people outside of the industry, they resort back

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Audience Involvement

Audience members sacrifice a lot to be present at your presentation, those members probably have a To Do List a mile long and a life to take care of outside of your presentation. Instead they are sitting and listening to you (,I am always tickled by that thought when I’m doing presentations myself). Since the audience has sacrificed so much, they expect to gain something from this speech, they expect to be understood and cared about. In general the audience also craves to be a part of your presentation. You have a number of different ways to go about involving the audience. You could simply ask questions and have the audience respond by raising their hand or standing to answer the question. You could also ask them a question that yields a silent answer like, “Do you want to learn about sheep?” Using this method involves the audience and makes

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