This post was provoked from my reading this post on “TEDS talk takeaway: 8 ways to Hook your Audience” by Gavin Mahon.
Great hooks, like McGonigal’s provocative opening statement, get audiences on the edge of their seats and give them a sense of what’s coming. They allow you to win a crowd’s attention right away and give you a legitimate chance to have a lasting impact.
Note that these “hooks” are excellent elements around which to build your presentation.
1. Tell a story.
Well, I messed that one up from the start. It should be “with great enthusiasm, tell AN INTERESTING STORY!”
2. Use Video or Graphics.
Some things are best told, and others are best shown. With the possibility of pictures and videos, use them if the subject matter lends itself to that.
3. Belief statement.
Use a statement and explanation of your belief, especially if it is controversial.
4. Use a road map to your presentation.
In education, it runs like this, “Tell them where you are taking them, take them there, and then tell them where you have been.” In a presentation, use a road map. Give an outline of the chief points, and emphasize each point as you pass by it. What this does is to make sure the audience understands you are not ad libbing everything, and are going to go on talking forever.
5. Use appropriate humor.
Humor can be very beneficial, or very distracting. Humor only works to your advantage when it is tightly integrated with your point you are trying to make. Otherwise it distracts the audience needlessly.
6. Rhetorical Question.
The expert use of a rhetorical question can be very effective at getting the audience to engage with what you are saying.
7. Use provocative statements.
Using a statement that will get your audience to peak their interest or engage them with you is very useful.
8. Use shock or surprise.
In some presentations you can use something shocking or surprising to get attention for a moment.
How to make a presentation stick
“Stickiness” means tht something you said will stay with the audience further than the back door. When we try to plan in take-aways in your presentation, things that your audience will take away from it, you need to make an impression on them, and this is the point here.
1. Make it memorable. Short is good. A motto, saying, or pithy phrase that captures a thought is best. The point is to find a way to encapsulate your content in memorable terms. Use 1 core message per slide.
2. Leverage the unexpected. Try to make good use of your knowledge of your material such that your presentation of it impacts the audience.
3. Concrete and real ideas are best. What you say should be very clear and real. If you puff up your presentation to give even a little hint of what you are saying is not true, your whole presentation is ruined.
4. Build and work Credibility in what you say. This is an extension of the above point. You need to use facts, figures, and testimonials (and anything else that fits) to give the audience that you know what you are talking about.
5. Use emotions to build empathy to your cause. Use the audience’s feelings and emotions to get on your side of things.
6. Weave a sticky story. Here you can draw in the audience to you by a good moving story. See also How to tell a story.
Summary: Keep these things in mind when making a presentation.
1. Keep it simple.
2. Make it memorable.
3. Make a purpose or proposition you want your audience to take away.
4. Make everything support fully that proposition, and anything which doesn’t 100% support it, remove it.
5. Be emotional, use emotion, find compassion, and present with passion.