We can all envision it—the old-school presenter standing behind a podium in front of a sleepy audience reading a PowerPoint slideshow in a monotone voice. “15% of respondents stated that they would be more likely to…” ZZZZZZ
There’s a reason why that style of presenting doesn’t work anymore. It’s boring, doesn’t engage the audience, and won’t get the message across.
Instead, presenters can spice up their talks by following the new trends in presenting. Each of these offers a cutting-edge way for you to give an energetic and impressive presentation.
What are the newest trends in public speaking and presenting?
Trend #1 Using Apps
Why use outdated technology or boring 3 X 5 note cards when there are great apps that can help you make your presentation impressive. There is a “teleprompter” style note reader for the iPad called mPrompt. You can download your speeches or write them in the app and then it will scroll the text for you to read. You can customize the font or speed.
Or, an app called 2screens allows public speakers to show presentations from documents, pictures, or music from their iPad.
If you want to keep track of your timing, Speakerclock is an app that works on the iPhone or iPad to help you stay on time.
There are dozens more apps that can help you become a better speaker. A quick Internet search or visit to the App Store will uncover more.
Trend #2 Interacting with the Crowd
Of course interacting with your audience isn’t a new concept. But, the technology to do so is. A new trend in speaking is to integrate live polls, encourage your audience to tweet their ideas and questions, or get them to look up answers to things on their laptops during the talk.
Trend #3 Hands Free Technology
Also on the technology trend bandwagon is the ability to navigate through PowerPoint and other presentation programs without the use of a clicker or remote. No longer do you need to use the arrow keys on your laptop or have a laser pointer. Instead, there are controllers that are embedded in rings, watches, wristbands, and other devices.
Trend #4 Low-Tech Presentations
This is the presentation equivalent of a capella music—no instruments, just voice. Giving your talk without relying on slides, charts, video, or other technological support can be scary. But it can also be a good way to really connect with your audience on a personal level. Imagine a simple stool on a stage, a single spotlight, and a speaker sitting on the stool talking. The speaker is only communicating to the audience with his words. Fresh, different, and engaging.
Trend #5 Multimedia Experience Presentations
This is the exact opposite of Trend #4. While Low-Tech Presentations are simple, these are extravaganzas of light, sounds, and motion. Think of your presentation as if it were a mini-concert. Walk on stage to pumping music and lights. Add dry ice for effect. Have a huge screen behind you with moving graphics. Use a wireless handheld microphone and work the stage, go into the audience. Use the audience’s senses to draw them into the presentation.
Trend #6 Extras
Another way to draw an audience is to throw in extras before and after the talk. Book signings are a good way to add value. Also, consider having a “private” event after the talk where people pay a bit extra to have a small group session with you. This might be a cocktail party or a brainstorming session.
Another way is to have photographs taken with audience members that are then uploaded to social media sites. Raffles for products, silent auctions, and other “extras” can really excite a crowd.
Trend #7 Keep it Casual
This goes along, a bit, with Trend #4. In addition to keeping things low-tech, another trend is to have talks that are in more casual, non-traditional venues. Bookstores and coffee shops are great locations for casual, informal talks. Other ideas might include group walks on the beach or at a park, or renting out the back room of your local pizza place or pub. With these kinds of presentations, you want to be sure and dress the part. Casual attire is a good idea—jeans and a dress casual shirt or something simple. The result is a greater feeling of connection between you and your audience.
Of course, embedded within all of these suggestions is one core foundation. Your content and delivery have to be excellent. No amount of flash, technology, tricks, or techniques will matter if you don’t have the content or skills to deliver.
“90% of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” Somers White, Public Speaker