When you are speaking to a group of people, in order for them to fully understand and engage with your content, you want to speak in the same way that people read books.
For example, if you just picked up a book for the first time, how would you read it? What exactly would you do?
How People Read Books
We don't just pick up a book and read it page by page. We look at the cover, look at the back cover, look at the index, we read a couple of chapters, then we look, go back a chapter, we go back two chapters, we go ahead three chapters, we start reading page by page again.
So the same way that you read a book, is the same way you watch a presentation. Unfortunately though, amateur presenters think you read a book page by page.
Characteristics Of A Professional Presenter
Amateur presenters go through their presentation page by page. Professionals never do that. Professionals say, "Hey, here's the front cover of the book. By the way, here's the back cover."
"Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's the index of the book."
"Now, let's go into the first chapter."
"Alright, we just finished the first chapter, but hey, let me just show you the back cover again."
"In fact, let me show you the front cover again. I'm just going to remind you of just one thing you read in that first chapter. Now, let's go to the second chapter."
If you've seen me present live from stage, then you'll notice I say, "Turn to the person next to you, slap them a high-five etc"
What I'm doing when I do that, is I'm going back through the room and I'm picking everybody up that fell off the train. So constantly throughout a six day event, I have to go back and pick you up wherever you fell off.
Picking Up Clients That "Fell Off The Train"
So when I go back to the front cover, the back cover, the index, something out of chapter one, something out of chapter two, and so on, what I'm really doing is I'm getting you wherever you fell off, picking you back up, and saying, "Jump back on the train."
Because as an audience member you would like to go back into your manual from time to time. But if I don't let you do that, you'll feel uncomfortable. You'd like to read the front cover and the name of the event again.
But if I don't let you do that, you'll feel uncomfortable. You'd like to skip to the back and just have a quick look. If I don't let you do that in my talk, you'll feel uncomfortable. So what presenters do is we follow a timeline, but we jump back and forth every now and then, so it feels more like the way you read a book.
Just know that you've got to pick your clients up, your audience members up when they fall off. And you do it just by rehashing, going back to the start, going to the end.
Speech shaping is one of the 14 pillars of a world-class presentation, and it's where you bounce to the end of the speech and then back to where you were again. And that's enough for people to feel, "Okay, cool. I know where I'm going with the presentation. I'm happy now."
So this is all something to keep in mind when giving presentations... that you want to speak the way people read books, and that will give you a little bit more of a dynamic approach to it.
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