Find out how knowledgeable they are about the subject. Work out how you can help them. Tell them why it's worth listening to you. If they have an incentive, they'll feel more engaged. Think of things they can actually relate to. Linking your points to reality gives your messages real meaning and keeps people interested.
Great speakers engage people right at the start. So, you'll need an attention grabber. Any one of these will do: - Ask a question - Mention a topical event - Use an analogy - Deliver a strong quote - Refer to an imaginary situation Try to make your mark right at the beginning. Be Different.
Keep it simple; beginning, middle and end works best. Then split the middle into sections. Prepare rhetorical questions to start each section and then go on to answer the question yourself. It's a great way to keep your audience engaged and let them know you're moving on to a new subject.
Take time to write out what you plan to say in some detail. Ultimately you should have some simple notes (bullet points) recorded on cards that you can use to guide you while you're speaking. Writing your notes in detail first and then converting them to bullet points helps you know what they mean!
The audience should remember 'You', not your visual aids. If you're using PowerPoint, don't stand next to the screen and read it. Your conversation should be with the audience, not your slides. Familiarize yourself with the room and equipment beforehand. You can't afford any shocks on the day!
Everything about you should send a message of calmness and control. You'll communicate a massive amount through your body language before you've even started talking. So, walk in calmly, think about your posture, your shoulders should be back, your chin up and of course, you're smiling!
Speak as though you mean it. If you don't sound enthused by your subject, don't expect the audience to. Communicate energy. It's contagious. Use your facial expressions and body movements to reinforce your enthusiasm. Keep imagining you are an audience member. Would 'You' feel inspired?