Make Your Guest Speakers Shine & Bonus Point: You Will Appear a Brilliant Leader
Last week I attended a presentation that was hampered by weak facilitation. The result was an audience who quickly lost interest.
And to boot, the audience was just as uncomfortable as the speakers were. First the audience was embarrassed, then they were simply impatient because no one stepped in to rescue a situation that was falling apart.
The facilitator is the key to and responsible for a strong start, middle, and finish.
The Role of a Facilitator – Not a Juggling Act – A Strategic, Well Rehearsed Role
Three Tips to Stop Presentations From Losing the Audience
First Order of Business
Ask the audience to turn off their cell phones. I appreciate the reminder; sometimes my memory lapses and it would be the height of embarrassment for me to have my phone ring during a presentation.
Don’t be afraid to ask, this is a point of common courtesy.
Second Strategic Intervention
Have the presenter write their own bio with two simple directives. First it needs to be pertinent and directed to the speech at hand. Second it needs to be short. We’ve all endured the entire curriculum vitae that takes as long as the presentation.
The audience wants to know why the speaker has the authority to speak. If you receive a bio that is still too long, gently remind the speaker that everyone is there to hear the presentation – the wow factor – not the bio, which will be long forgotten.
Third Bold Move
I expect some backlash from number three.
At the presentation in contention, beyond the seating area, approximately 25 people were standing. And talking. And talking. People who were seated could not hear because of the background din. The facilitator or an organizer needed to ask them to move to another room. Come on folks it’s not high school any more.
You’re choice – do you want to be perceived as a brilliant leader who has the chutzpah to help create a professional event or are you willing to let it slide away because of politeness enabling. Hint: Everyone in the seated area wished that someone had spoken up and taken control.
The facilitators role in fielding audience questions post presentation, how to present a gift of appreciation, and a simple method for a strong finish.
Image Credit: Emiliano Spada