Captivating slides, powerful delivery, confidence, and a strong speaking voice are essential to giving a killer presentation. However, there’s more to being an effective presenter than that. If your audience doesn’t like you, it doesn’t matter how good your presentation is: they still might not buy into your message.
By nature, we are more likely to trust something or someone that we find likable. Only by getting your audience to like you as a person can you secure their faith and loyalty in your product, service, or message. If you want to make a real connection with your audience, work on honing these eight great qualities that make presenters likable.
Be a Good Listener
Anyone can talk, but it takes effort and intention to be a good listener. Great speakers are attentive to what their audience has to say, which makes them more capable of giving them the information they want – and thus getting their attention. Letting your audience know that you’ve heard them also shows social intelligence. Listen to what they have to say before, during, and after your presentation.
How you react and interact with your audience during the presentation is an important follow-up to listening. By responding to questions and comments from the audience, you’re acknowledging that you value their input. You’ll build a stronger relationship with your audience and make them feel at ease.
Stories are not just a way to hook the audience with your message – it’s also a way to genuinely connect with your audience. Telling something about yourself or something that you care about opens you up to the audience, and they may find something they relate to within that story. Everyone likes a good story, and great presenters will captivate an audience with their storytelling skills.
Canned speeches and planned-out acting are no substitute for being your authentic self. The most effective presenters also have the most integrity. Being humble, vulnerable, and candid during your presentation shows you’re a real human who has nothing to hide. Your audience will be grateful they didn’t have to sit through another predictable talk from a generic speaker.
Audiences everywhere are wising up to shady sales tactics and exaggerated promises. Some people still get away with it, but even if audiences don’t catch on initially, dishonest business doesn’t go under the radar for long. Be open and honest with your audience and potential clients, and they’ll trust you enough to want to work with you.
If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. This sort of passion can be contagious. Express enthusiasm for your presentation topic and show that you’re passionate about the product/service/message. Many people in the audience will start to feel it, too.
Life is complicated enough. When people come to a presentation, they’re looking for solutions that will make their lives easier. They also have limited attention spans. Deliver the contents of your presentation in the simplest, most transparent and straightforward way possible. Overcomplicating things will make your audience frustrated and won’t add to your charm factor.
Always thank your audience for their comments and for attending your presentation. Only because you have an audience can you continue to do what you do. They didn’t have to come – so show some gratitude.
These tips may seem obvious, for one major reason – they reflect how anyone (including you) would like to be treated as someone attending a presentation. Yet many people still fail to apply these principles during their presentations. Be mindful of how you regard your audience, and remember what it’s like to be in their seats when you’re standing in front of the podium. Getting your audience to like you is as simple as following the Golden Rule.