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10 Ways to Present Your Ideas Powerfully and Inspire Your Audience to Action
So, you’re barely halfway through your talk yet couldn’t aspire your audience to action? No worries! Here are 10 ways to speak up for your ideas and make a call to action.
Perhaps you’re memorizing every word of your speech to deliver in front of a packed conference room.
However, you’re under a lot of pressure since this presentation can make or break your career. No matter how many days you’ve spent preparing meticulously, still, you’re nervous. And, you are afraid to leave your colleagues and boss confused.
If this situation feels familiar, you definitely need to power up your communication game. You must know how to make your audience get into a new idea. Effective communication, organizing your data, and making your ideas memorable can help you from sharing to selling your services. It is a great career accelerator and gets your message across in the most effective ways. Above all, mastering the art of communication improves your self-esteem and builds confidence.
In Brief: 10 Ways To Present Your Ideas Powerfully And Inspire Your Audience To Action
- Perform Actions That Your Audience Want – Connect with your audience by focusing on what they want to know rather than what you want to tell them; engage them with relevant content and mutual beliefs and values.
- Experiences To Connect With Your Audience – Use storytelling to resonate with your audience, enrich stories with relatable emotions, and make your presentation act like a story to maintain engagement.
- Specific Problem Your Idea Will Solve – Address a specific problem that your idea or solution will solve, deeply connect with the problem, and provide context and background to make your presentation more compelling.
- Challenge Your Idea Publicly – Be confident and challenge your idea publicly, acknowledging potential challenges and showcasing evidence, validations, and results to gain support.
- Leave Room For Questions – Allow time for questions and engage in discussions to address the audience’s queries and involve them in the presentation.
- Put Your Audience First – Prioritize your audience’s needs and interests, research their knowledge level, and encourage interaction to establish a connection.
- Be Concise And Memorable – Be concise and memorable, focus on key points, and structure your presentation to ensure the information sticks.
- Avoid Clutter To Provide Visual Clarity – Maintain visual clarity by avoiding clutter in your presentation slides, using text sparingly, and creating a clean and uncluttered look.
- Choose Humanity Over Data – Leverage human psychology, such as social proof and emotional appeals, to inspire action and make your audience feel motivated and part of a community.
- Use Best Practices – Use best practices for effective presentations, including keeping slides concise and professionally designed, using a clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA), and following rules like the 10-20-30 and 4-by-4 rules for presentation content.
10 Ways to Make Your Impact in The Workplace
It is okay if you’re not good at communicating since we’re never taught the key components of this skill. But you can learn it with time and practice any day. You can get better results with these skills by convincing your team to take a new move. Moreover, implementing them will prove highly valuable when selling a product or pitching a business idea.
Let’s talk about how to present actual results and inspire people to take action.
1. Perform Actions That Your Audience Want
To become a successful presenter, the first step is to connect with your audience. The audience will respond if you are enthusiastic and perform actions that your audience wants. It can only be possible if you focus more on what they want to know instead of what you can tell them.
During the presentation, the content must revolve around what your target is going to get out of it. Tell listeners what it’s about and react to their responses. Explain to them what they’ll learn and benefit from your services. State your points, approach, and presentation goals to help them get interested. There are many ways to engage the audience, like showing a compelling image, relating to a recent incident, and asking a proactive question. Refer to the audience’s experience and use analogies to relate things. Gear your content to the listener’s interests, experiences, and knowledge. Please give them a reason to tune in!
Besides, connecting with the audience through mutual beliefs and values is also essential. All influential persuasive speakers must possess confidence, authenticity, and audience awareness. They will probably invest in you, given these abilities.
2. Use Stories or Experiences to Connect With Your Audience
Storytelling is the best way to resonate with your audience. Human beings are programmed to connect with stories and are more likely to engage when they use examples. Include stories in your presentation to help them pay attention and to remember things. In addition, try to enrich the story with human emotions relatable to everyone. Tell them about your struggles and how this idea was the best solution. Your words and gestures to walk them through the emotions are significant.
The first and foremost technique when articulating your thoughts is to create the most actionable presentation. Let the listeners feel as if they came up with this idea, and don’t let them get bored. Storytelling gets people to act but also helps them digest and remember critical pieces of information quickly.
It’s good to start with a story, but your presentation needs to act like a story. Here are some insanely actionable tips when packing your presentation as a story.
- Think about what story you are telling before kicking off the presentation. Then, tie it into your presentation message.
- Focus on the character or focal point directly involved in your topic.
- Try to give examples directly from your own experiences. It will build more credibility and feels natural, allowing more people to relate with you personally.
- Keep emphasizing how you can’t wait to solve your audiences’ problems like yours. (here, you’re probably selling your services)
- Remember to be natural and not sound like a sales pitch as you’re here to build connections, not hard selling a product.
3. Talk about a Specific Problem Your Idea Will Solve
Presentations are more about targeting a particular problem than speaking style, multimedia pyrotechnics, or boasting about your company. If you can’t figure out the problem yourself, it will be hard to convince people to pay attention to your services or product after the presentation. You need to explain to them why you think of this problem. Why did you propose this particular topic? And, why is your service the best solution to their problems?
Before explaining why you’re doing what you are doing, you need to connect deeply with that problem. Generally, people are not very interested in talks about organizations or companies. Examples, personal experiences, ideas, and relatable stories fascinate them. If you can briefly describe your problem and its significance, you build a great talk.
Therefore, do complete research and provide some background for your problem to give them some context. For example, if you are developing an app for team management, approach your friends in various workplaces and ask them what problems they are facing. Then think about how you can propose authentic solutions to this problem. Describe the previous works related to it and how your method is similar/different to them. Share all the additional advantages people will get from your service.
Such struggling stories and problem-solving research increase the audience’s level of interest. Your presentation success will depend on the quality of your idea, the narrative, the passion, and the ability to showcase characteristics that aren’t so easy to see.
4. Challenge Your Idea Publicly
Successful speakers know what is distinctive about them and their idea. They are confident enough to make their vision real and challenge their ideas publicly. You’ve already outlined the problem you are offering solutions for. Now it’s time to make it real with a passionate explanation.
When you get an idea and are sure about having concrete solutions to the existing challenges, you are already there. You must know how to convince your audience and get the team on board with your idea. At some point, you will need to reach out to more people about the merits of your idea, be it investors, customers, or experts.
By preparing beforehand, you can refine your pitch and encourage people to join you. Let them know that you are aware of all the cons, difficulties, profit or loss, and possibilities. Give them answers before they ask questions. Keep on providing the big picture and show them evidence, validations, and possible results. Ask them to challenge your idea or propose a better solution. And convince them adventures come with ups and downs.
Your idea will be compelling if there is a central theme and a well-drafted business plan. Remember that you have the most experiential knowledge of your business and its goals.
5. Leave Room for Questions
Another best way to improve your presentation skills is to engage your audience in exciting discussions. It is estimated that most people’s attention span starts diverting minutes after a presentation. No matter how extraordinary you prepare and cover all the points, there will always be a need for question sessions. Sometimes, your listeners prioritize the information they want to get instead of the information you want to share.
You never know what your audience will think and feel. So, please spare some time for interesting brainstorming activities to tell the audience that they’re also being heard. It will help them clear their queries and incite action. It will also let them know that you’re not afraid of any hard-hitting questions, and they will not regret working with you.
To create interactivity, think partner brainstorms, social media voting, role-playing, audience case studies, “raise your hand” questions, and having small groups host discussions. Your presentation must be conducted in a way that raises questions in the audience’s mind. The material or content must not be too simple or too complex for their level of knowledge.
Here are some tips to follow for practical Q&A sessions.
- Tell people that they will have an opportunity for questions at defined times. You can even let them decide how and when to ask questions throughout or at the end.
- Cut out 10-15 minutes or more to encourage healthy discussions. (Starting a Q&A with little or no time left is not desirable)
- Don’t be exhaustive in your coverage and leave some aspects of the topic.
- Change your phrasing of “Any questions?” as it indicates that you don’t expect questions. Instead, encourage them by asking, “who’s got a question?”
- Warmly respond to the question even if you think it’s stupid or has already covered it.
Hence, your listeners should not be passive listeners only; yet, they must actively participate in getting your message across. Your audience involvement is a critical part of your success as a presenter.
6. Put Your Audience First
Hopefully, you are aware of how important your audience and engagement are for a powerful presentation. Your content needs to convey the message of why the audience needs to take part. You need to provide information that truly reflects their goals, interests, most pressing pains, and desires. You can easily connect with your listeners by giving them reasons why they should care.
It’s better to research your audience in advance to know their knowledge level. It might not be very respectful to share basic information with a highly knowledgeable crowd. Or giving a complex or too technical proposal to a beginner. Moreover, don’t exaggerate the conversation by doing all the talking. Help your audience find the opportunity to interact with you. They might want to share some important ideas with you and have an authentic conversation.
Sometimes, we focus on the content so much that we pay little attention to our listeners. If you don’t get audience participation, feedback, applause, or questions, it’s time to adopt a new strategy.
Here are some simple ways to show concern for the audience.
- Invite feedback and pause periodically throughout
- Understand who will be listening and their expectations
- Look for engaging techniques
- Improve your facial expressions and body languages, such as posture and physical presence, to add more energy to it
- Never assume that everyone is thinking the same and consider cross-culture expectations.
- Be warm and choose an appropriate language.
Simply put, see yourself through the audience’s eyes.
7. Be Concise And Memorable
People usually get annoyed when your information is too much to process. They already get so many messages and emails each week. You probably don’t want to waste their time or force them to grasp your point. Hence, mastering the art of conciseness and making the content memorable is the skill of the time to embrace.
The “less is more” approach is directly linked to contributing to the core message more effectively. You should always draft the key points for your audience. Keeping the message simple and brief is always better than complicated ones. It’s not true that people will think that you don’t have enough to say because of less content. In fact, speaking without relying entirely on slides will make a good impression that you are capable. It also indicates that you care for your audience’s precious time.
Moreover, the research shows that our attention fades a little bit during the middle as compared to the beginning and end of a presentation. It’s natural, and presenters must be aware of this human behavior, thereby devising a talk accordingly.
Let’s learn how to structure your slides to ensure the information sticks.
- When crafting slides, adjust the main details at the start and then summarize them again at the end.
- Cut out the excess details and explain the key points.
- Focus on repetition to help listeners retain it in their long-term memory.
- Relate the numbers with something visually impactful to make it memorable
- In case of longer presentations, divide the session into smaller parts for maximum effectiveness.
8. Avoid Clutter To Provide Visual Clarity.
The attention span of conversation is limited but what matters is how well you channelize it to the core message. Since your listeners connect with you through your words, it’s very important to consider how you present information visually. Almost all of your material will be shared in the form of slides. So, keep your presentation slides free from clutter.
If you add all the elements that can be removed without losing information, your message might become ineffective. Your “claustrophobic” slides will distract the audience as they will try to read the slides instead of listening to you. Or, you will give your slides more importance than the audience. Besides, people will also feel as if you don’t know your content well enough.
To avoid leaving a bad impression, use text sparingly and plenty of white space to let the slide wall breathe. Just add the important elements on the slides so they can quickly absorb your message. You should also try using transparent images without any unnecessary background to get a clean look.
9. Choose Humanity over Data
The next way to drive actions through communication is to make psychology work for you. Among the several discovered insights about human behavior used for positively influencing people, one such is social proof. It is the tendency to look up to the action when others are doing it. For instance, most of us look at product reviews before buying something. It helps us to be more confident about the decision taken.
So, getting into your audience’s minds is imperative to build a siege mentality. Exercise empathy as they will not remember what you say but how you make them feel. Use emotionally exciting words that make them feel inspired, motivated, and ready to be a part of a bigger community.
You are probably familiar with leveraging the power of emotive and inclusive language to improve communication. We think facts, logic, and data will change people’s minds. However, the truth is emotional appeals inspire actions as humans aren’t rational creatures.
10. Use Best Practices
Besides presentation software, an effective presentation includes other forms of communication, persuasive writing, and reporting to inform and enlighten. Your last slide must contain call-to-action (CTAs) to convert site visitors into prospective leads. Use present tense, contrasting colors that fit with the theme, and actionable copy. Keep it simple, under 5 words, and clear message. Make your CTA bright and bold and font bigger than usual.
Above all, the CTA must not contain generic suggestions like “subscribe now,” “click here,” or “join us today.” However, the words must depict your goal while exciting the target audience, such as “complete your team,” etc. Offer them a free trial or introduce a money refund policy. Give them security with these best practices.
The presenter must keep in mind these tips when designing slideshows.
- The 10-20-30 rule – contains no more than 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and font size is no less than 30 points.
- 4-by-4 rule – 4 bullets with 4 words
- Keep it professional by limiting the use of animation, transitions, and music.
- Simple font style instead off specialty fonts that are hard to read
- Make an intro, table of content, the subject material, and outro or summary.
Great speakers know how to convey their points quickly and use best practices to generate actions. They choose human emotions over data and value the interest of their audience. The above guide helps in presenting your ideas powerfully. Your audience will no longer be busy reading all the text on your slides. And, you can conquer your fears of skipping over chunks of content & disrupting the flow.
Frequently asked questions
How to Become a Public Speaker?
To become an inspiring public speaker, include relevant stories and examples in your presentation. Start introducing yourself and why you choose the topic. Prepare the speech, keeping in view the interests and needs of your audience. Gain public speaking skills and keep on rehearsing.
Learn how to structure your speech in a way to keep your audience interested as well as help them digest your content easily. Keep your presentation small, clear, emotional, and concise. Build your online presence first and acquire some feedback from friends when landing this career.
What Are The Skills Required For Becoming A Public Speaker?
A public speaker must be armed with actionable strategies to engage, inspire and drive the audience toward a new direction. It’s a soft skill that requires passion, communication skills, and the ability to engage with an audience. Here are the five most necessary skills for becoming an influential public speaker.
1.Do thorough research on the topic
2.Analyze and connect with the audience
3.Organize idea logically
4.Challenge ideas publicly
5.Excellent body language and gestures
What Are The Challenges Faced As A Public Speaker?
The biggest challenge as a public speaker is to develop interpersonal communication skills, which are usually not taught by our teachers. However, it’s not an inherent ability that can’t be learned. You can become a public speaker by learning and practicing skills.
Secondly, public speakers must have great confidence while presenting their ideas to influential decision-makers like investors, bosses, clients, or executive teams. Making them believe that your services are the best solution is challenging but not impossible.
Lastly, it’s not easy to keep the audience engaged throughout the session and inspire them to take action quickly. Your presentation must be persuasive yet straightforward to achieve desirable results. You need to be less technical and more empathetic to convince your team.
What’s The Salary Of A Public Speaker?
How much you can earn from public speaking depends on education, skills, years of experience, and job location. Typically, the salary increases with your experience level or working in a large metropolitan area. In the US, public speakers make around $62k to $125k on average, depending on different factors. Those speakers who are well established in their field can make $20-35k per talk.