How do I start an unforgettable speech

Lecture: How to loosen it up in a targeted manner

It is an art to give a speech or lecture to the audience lasting in memory stay. A captivating speech with depth, which calls on the audience to act or stimulates thought, always requires a trained speaker, as well as good preparation and a lot of empathy.

However, scientific research clearly shows that it is best in spite of this Conception and entertaining presentation is often difficult for the audience to keep the attention high. In a lecture without visualizations and loosening up, the tension in the audience steadily fades and quickly turns into boredom. If the lecturer speaks constantly at the same speed and does not use flexible modulation, even the most attentive listener will find it difficult to maintain his concentration and not to wander.

How do you use visual or verbal aids in a lecture?

Therefore, modern speakers use more at public lectures and symposia visual or verbal aids. These include, for example:

In order to keep the audience's attention, it is advisable to work with visual or verbal aids © Maglara - Shutterstock

  • short video sequences,
  • PowerPoint slides,
  • Graphics or matching images,
  • Sound effects,
  • Individual interaction with the audience

In doing so, they pursue the goal of increasing the audience's attention. On the one hand, this leads to the audience listening to the lecture with interest and, at best, to the end. The reasoning appears loosened up by the type of presentation and is cognitively easier to process for anyone interested. On the other hand, the use of media also increases the retention performance of each individual listener. In the end, the participants not only feel entertained by the lecture, but also have an increased benefit from expanding their knowledge.

As a lecturer, what options do you have to increase the attention of your audience? What should you avoid during your speech so as not to distract listeners unnecessarily? What visual or verbal tools can you use to keep the audience awake? How do you ensure that every participant perceives as much information as possible in your presentation and uses it for themselves?

How do I start a lecture?

In the professional environment or at festive or social occasions Talk and Lectures mostly kept according to the same pattern. The best way to prepare is to watch a few videos or get some speaking tips. Because the beginning of a speech is almost unbearable for stage fright. A lecturer gives a lecture on a topic and passes on knowledge to the audience. He begins his lecture with a good introduction. This is followed by the main part. In the end, the lecture ends with the conclusion, in which important points are summarized and the personal benefit is emphasized. In many cases, the speaker uses a standing desk for his speech manuscript and always remains at the same point on the stage.

Initiation

If the topic is presented in a varied and amusing way and if the speaker uses both interesting words and descriptive gestures at the same time, the audience usually follows his explanations eagerly. But despite the best rhetorical stylistic devices, many listeners in the audience tire after a period of active listening. This is also due to the fact that all those present in the auditorium are always fixed on the same point on the stage that the speaker does not leave. The beginning of a speech offers the first opportunity to loosen up. With a humorous metaphor at the beginning, the ice can be broken faster than you think.

Address certain stimuli in the brain

In a split second, our brain processes innumerable information that is passed to it from the sensory organs. Since the amount of stimuli cannot be evaluated by the brain, our brain prioritizes all incoming information as important or less important. All sensory impressions that are important for our eyes or ears have priority. A loud bang, a disturbing noise or even the specific change of seat of the speaker are perceived by every listener in the audience. Attention rises immediately and the eyes instinctively observe where the speaker is. All of this happens automatically and cannot be influenced by humans.

Therefore, experienced speakers use the Change of place methodologyto emphasize the importance of what is being said in the audience and attract attention. Like a modern weather presenter, they appeal to the audience's senses. Instead of rigidly referring to the digital weather map, the meteorologist relies on gestures, facial expressions and body language. In doing so, he makes even the most boring weather conditions interesting. Similarly, speakers can also actively use movement. The fact is: a speaker who moves on stage wins the attention of his audience.

The full dose of rhetoric is not always appropriate

Depending on the topic of your speech, you should use your Action potential but dose it on stage. A change of place should always suit the occasion and not appear artificial. With a very solemn laudation, you will continue to stay at the lectern for most of the lecture and not leave it. Nevertheless, you could go through a accompanying interview cleverly incorporate a change of place. You could hand over the award after the laudation on a different part of the stage. With a little "life" and interaction on stage you can increase the tension and attention of the audience even with a classical lecture.

Name a concrete goal and set the time frame

Goals play a very important role in all areas of our modern life. Determination and a high level of commitment are often required in a professional and private context. People with an affinity for goals are given greater success. This is why your listeners expect the goal to be named when giving a speech or attending a lecture. These expectations are reflected in questions that your audience ask themselves before attending your lecture:

  • How do I benefit from hearing this talk?
  • What can I personally take away from this speech for myself?

In order to formulate a speech goal that is interesting for the audience and therefore worth striving for, good preparation is required. Therefore, when preparing the presentation, ask yourself specifically which one Needs your audience to have. Think about how the information in your speech might motivate the audience and how your key points might influence the audience's personal goals? Which added value can you work out who will help individual listeners or the entire audience?

The agenda - a must for every lecture

In order to sustainably inspire listeners and encourage them to listen, it makes sense to include a agenda to formulate.

Tip: You can easily set your agenda to music by saying: We are talking about the following main points in this talk today! Briefly name the main points of the talk and then begin to work through the agenda point by point.

Then all participants in the audience can mentally refer to the Key points of your argument to adjust. Now state a specific goal that you link to your explanations. Show the benefits for your audience and focus again and again on highlighting benefits and added value through benefit arguments. A concrete goal encourages your audience to actively collaborate in silence. Instead of just passively listening to the lecture, your audience goes along mentally, thinking through information and assumptions and drawing their own conclusions. With this approach you bind the entire audience to you and your speech topic and increase the attention.

In addition, you should make sure that you adhere to the given time during your presentation. If you exaggerate excessively, just because you are convinced of the importance of what is being said, you are ignoring the needs of your audience. Therefore, in your presentation, focus clearly on what is really important for the people in the audience. Always remember that your audience is the one you need to convince.

Well-known speakers are short of time and occasionally mention that there is only limited time available. This approach underscores the Value of what is said and creates additional tension, as the lecture looks even more valuable. If your explanations are also entertaining and informative for the audience, they will be happy to listen to you. In addition, you open the "door" for a new lecture and establish yourself as a lecturer with your audience.

Use interaction as a stylistic device to increase attention

If you repeatedly integrate interactive elements into your lecture or consciously ask open questions to the audience, this will loosen up your lecture. Your audience is more concentrated and more expectant than when speaking without interaction. In a classic lecture, the most effective method of open communication with the audience is to ask questions directly to the audience: "What do you think of the thesis that ...?"

As a lecturer, take a short break and look openly into the audience. Briefly fixate a few selected people in the audience and watch their reaction. You will find volunteers to share your opinion. Other listeners signal their opinion through gestures such as nodding or shaking their heads. With open questions and the right one Break technique involve your audience and make them part of your presentation.

Another way of interaction is that Request for a show of hands to the audience. For example, if you talk about the advantages of renewable energies in your lecture, then ask the audience directly: How many of you already have a photovoltaic system? Everyone in the audience will be addressed directly by your question and included in your explanations. Those who respond with a show of hands take an active part in the lecture. All other people in the audience look into the auditorium with interest and are awake and thematically focused and interested through this brief interaction.

Include guessing questions in the presentation

A third possibility of interaction is that Incorporation of estimation questions in your lecture. Ask specific questions in the auditorium such as: What do you think, what percentage of German citizens already have a photovoltaic system?

In any case, you should now include a short break in your presentation. Give each listener the opportunity to decide for themselves how high the proportion is estimated. In addition to a murmur in the audience, you will experience how people sitting next to you agree and brief discussions begin. Wait for responses from the audience or show of hands from volunteers. If you do not receive any answers, you should define the numbers yourself and thus further involve the audience. Every short discussion in the audience enlivens your presentation and also gives you the opportunity to concentrate on the next points.

The best speakers have always come up too competition set to loosen up your presentation and keep the audience interested. Small conflicts, contests or competitions generally create tension in life and captivate listeners and viewers. For this reason, sporting competitions or elections or political discussions are interesting even for those who are actually not involved, even if they themselves never actively intervene in the action.

A powerful way to fuel the fighting and competitive spirit of the audience is by placing simple ones Knowledge questions. Who knows the exact answer? Which answer is correct and who is wrong with their statement?

Use playful competitive situations when interacting with the audience, this creates a positive mood. Make it clear that the most important thing is to have fun and keep the audience's attention. Active questioning of statements from the audience can also lead to competitive situations.

Important: Creating competitive situations can be positive and stimulating for the audience. However, if used incorrectly, it can also lead to conflicts. This happens especially when questions or points are asked that are important or controversial for the audience. It is therefore advisable to choose the topics for competitive situations precisely. Be careful to uphold the dignity of each person and maintain a high level. Remain sovereign and pay attention to the occasion. Make sure you always radiate sympathy and charisma.

Keep putting on during your talk Communication and interaction with the audience. You keep your audience awake and convey more information than with a monologue lecture. Estimated questions and clearly addressed questions to the audience lead to the fact that facts and the main points of the lecture are positively established. In this way, you not only reach your audience with an open, positive and rhetorically appealing speech, but also create added value for the listeners, as the insights they have gained are increased. Rhetorical questions are also well received in the right place.

Skilfully staging news and positive messages

So that the minds of the audience do not wander, it makes sense to clearly define what interests your audience and what news you can announce in the preparation of your presentation.

To do this, it is important to assess the level of knowledge of your audience. Then you will gain certainty that you will not overstrain or understrain the audience with their explanations. Information that is new or that has changed is valuable and captivates the audience. This not only loosens up your presentation in a meaningful way, but generates real interest in your audience. Therefore, always integrate news into your argumentation and combine known facts worth knowing with new knowledge in a tactically clever way.

If you have interesting news, submit it rhetorical so that the tension of the audience is increased. Make sure you change the volume and pitch to indicate that the next information is very relevant to the participants. In the case of news or positive messages, it is also worthwhile to emphasize them through targeted repetition.

In the structure of your speech, you can place a lot of emphasis on the fact that your audience today will learn something new, interesting or a milestone in the introduction. Sentences like: "In the course of my speech today I will give you three exciting new pieces of information that will show you that we as a company are absolutely on the right track" increase the tension. The vast majority of listeners will pay close attention to what news you are delivering and how it affects them personally.

This is how you increase the attention during a presentation

On average, participants in a presentation keep:

  • 10% of what you read on a PowerPoint slide
  • 20% of what you hear during the presentation
  • 30% of what you see on a PowerPoint slide
  • 50% of what you hear and see during the presentation,
  • 70% of what you say during the presentation yourself
  • 90% of what you do yourself during the presentation.

If you let the individual values ​​work on you, you will quickly see that a standard presentation very often does not have the desired effect. This is due to the fact that many presentations are very theory-heavy and the speakers often mainly report or even read off the content of the slides. Not only does this seem unprofessional, it's one of the main reasons listeners wander.

Tip: If you are giving an interactive PowerPoint presentation, the information on your slides should only be used to accompany or support. Always keep eye contact with the audience and keep moving around the room. Skillful Change of position make the audience keep their eyes on you and look less at the slides. PowerPoint slides should only contain a few keywords and a suitable graphic. Avoid running text and slides with more than two connected sentences as much as possible.

Around Attention-worthy of over 50 percent and at the same time to increase the retention performance of the audience, it makes sense to talk to the audience during the presentation interaction to stimulate. Address individual participants in the audience directly and ask specific questions. Make eye contact and actively ask whether the audience can follow your argument and understand and share your approaches.

Tip: Do you know that someone in the audience can contribute a field report on the subject you are lecturing on? Then you can cleverly integrate it into your presentation.You create a "we-feeling" in the audience and at the same time create a platform for learning in partnership. This will make your presentation more action-oriented and practice-related. Increase retention performance by activating your audience in a targeted manner.

Use the following elements to loosen up a theory-heavy presentation during the lecture:

  • mystery (as a quiz show or individual questionnaire to loosen up or repeat)
  • Couple conversations with the neighbor (on a specific question or for practical transfer)
  • Imagination journeys (as an emotional break during an abstract-theoretical lecture, for the benefit of all senses)
  • error incorporate in technical terms (as twisted words, without vowels, for example in the schedule, as repetition or eye-catcher)
  • letter to yourself (as a transfer backup exercise at the end)
  • surprises under the chair (in the form of a riddle, candy or the like)

3 variants for an introduction to the lecture

In order to find the right way to start your lecture, it is important to know the topic of the lecture. We are now presenting a total of 5 possible variants that can serve as an introduction to the lecture.

Current introduction to the lecture

If there is a current topic in politics or economics that matches your lecture, you can use this as an introduction to the lecture. You could then work with a rhetorical question in order to lead the way from the beginning of the lecture to your topic.

Start the lecture with a question

As mentioned in point 1, a good introduction to a lecture can be started with a question. It is up to you whether you introduce this question as a rhetorical question or with a suggestive question. It is only important that you insert a pause between the question and the actual lecture.

Include personal experience in the introduction of a lecture

People love stories that others have experienced. So why not take advantage of this scam and start the lecture like this? It is really important that it is your personal story and not faux pas. Believe it or not, the audience can tell whether it is the truth.

Use visualizations in a lecture to highlight important things

Your presentation will look very professional if you add keywords and text as well Visualizations use. These are, for example:

  • images
  • Videos
  • Animated Images (GIF)
  • Tables and graphs
  • Colored markings, underlines or specific formatting
  • Real objects or puppets (for offline presentations)

Always pay attention to this when inserting pictures and videos copyright. You can find a great many on the Internet free sources with graphics and videos for presentations that are not protected by copyright.

Info: Of the 100 percent of information that enters our brain when we perceive situations and events, comes:

  • 83 percent over the eyes,
  • 11 percent over the ears and
  • 6 percent through the other senses.

When it comes to visualizing facts and information, it is important that you create images in the head of your audience. Your visual representation is the individual impetus for each participant to draw pictures in their heads.

Example: If you talk about meaningful leisure activities and show a soccer ball in your presentation, your audience will associate different associations with this piece of play equipment. While some participants think directly of their favorite Bundesliga club, others think of a game situation that has to do with their own family. The visualization helps each listener to better understand your reasoning and to draw their own conclusions.

Another very catchy method of visualization is that Speak in pictures. Phrases such as: "A light goes on" or "bright future" also create images in the head of the audience. If the decoration of the stage or the event room reflects your lecture motto, this also generates attention and interest and ensures the right connections in the head of the audience.

Example: If your presentation is about an interesting holiday destination, drape a few accessories in the room that every participant immediately associates with holiday. A hammock, some sand and seashells or a bath towel create the right atmosphere, loosen up your lecture and bring your participants closer to the discussed topic immediately.

Interim conclusion as a learning control

Your presentation will also be loosened up by having you repeatedly during your presentations Conclusion pull. Summarize the main points on a slide and reflect on the personal benefit the audience will get from this thought. Give Room for inquiries and thus initiate a targeted interaction with the audience.

In addition to your own interim conclusion, you can also ask the participants what their conclusion has been up to this point in time. Inquire directly what knowledge they have drawn from the explanations so far. Depending on the occasion and topic of the presentation, you can also use Group work or Partner work Have certain case studies dealt with and thus actively involve all participants.

This is particularly useful in a business environment or in the context of Coaching measures in operation. Through this Learning control Find out whether your reasoning was helpful and how the participants implement the information. In this way you gain important knowledge for the further course of your presentation. This gives you the chance to make effective adjustments immediately and to specify important points.

In summary, a presentation is a very effective method to address listeners effectively and specifically. Instead of just reading the contents of the slides of a PowerPoint presentation, an interactive presentation offers the opportunity to address the various senses of the listener and internalize the main points. With suitable visualizations in combination with rhetorical stylistic devices, you can fascinate the audience and interest them in your statements. This increases both the attention and retention performance of the audience. Your argumentation appears rich, has depth and gives the audience the feeling of learning effectively in a relaxed atmosphere.

Effective event planning as a measure to loosen up

In addition to the individual measures of a speaker that increase the audience's attention, there is also a varied one Event planning a big role in increasing the retention performance of the audience and loosening up seminars and lecture series.

When planning the entire event, make sure that the individual speeches are not too long. Coordinate topics in such a way that a harmonious overall picture is created. Your audience will honor a list of speakers in which different speaking styles provide variety.

Appropriate breaks or inserted music performances as well as varied program items before or after theory-heavy lectures help every listener to keep the attention high. Meaningful interactions with the audience, by the host or the chairman of the event, are a way to loosen up the atmosphere and involve the audience even more effectively in the event.

Do not underestimate the value of a harmonized event planning in which the individual lectures and subject areas fit together logically. Such planning is comparable to that Menu planning of a star chefwho goes to great lengths to string together the most varied of ingredients and courses in such a way that an interesting, varied and unforgettable menu is created.

Summary and conclusion: Good preparation is part of the presentation

Your speech or lecture will be remembered by your audience if you take care to inspire your audience at all times. To do this, it is necessary to carefully consider during the preparation which topics and facts will add value to the audience. Determine how useful your argumentation will be for the audience and define yours Lecture objective.

Interest the audience with an interactive presentation in which you incorporate images, videos or graphics. In classic lectures without interactive elements, it makes sense to create variety by changing positions. You should also consciously seek interaction with the participants in the auditorium by asking questions and letting the participants react to you. Using stylistic devices, such as the incorporation of guessing questions or a playful competition among the audience, you can attract the attention of all participants. In addition, you can use body language, i.e. gestures, facial expressions and the use of your voice color and volume to loosen up the lecture and emphasize important passages verbally. Humor is also a welcome element in a speech. In doing so, however, you should definitely weigh up whether humor is appropriate on the occasion. Professional speeches or funeral speeches may not necessarily be the best choice.

In addition, empathy and real empathy will help you as a lecturer. Think for yourself which type of presentation you personally find interesting and expedient. Discuss with others which stylistic devices are appropriate for your audience and take speechesTips and coaching at. Always stick to the time limit and design an entertaining, relaxed and content-rich presentation that inspires your audience and encourages action.

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Editorial staff on the world of speech