How can you grab the audience’s attention? How to avoid losing track of what you’re saying? And how can you end with something which sticks in the listeners’ minds?
The initial moments will often determine the success or failure of your talk. Your audience must feel that you are well prepared, that you know your subject and they won’t be wasting their time if they listen to you.
The simplest way is to start with an effective title that captures the essence of your presentation. For example, the goose-quill pen!
Then introduce the topic you are going to talk about. So the audience will be able to follow your talk more easily.
If you want to get your audience’s attention, you can start by posing some rhetorical questions which you will answer in the course of your talk. For example: is this really a goose-quill?
Or, if you feel confident, you can mention a personal experience or tell a short story. For example: I found this quill high up in the mountains, well what do you think … are there really any geese up high in the mountains?
The easiest way to develop a talk is to prepare a list of the main points you want to present, in a logical sequence. You can also use graphic organizers in the form of maps, grids or charts to help organize your talk. These are an excellent way of showing the logical sequence of the content and the connections between them. But don’t try to squeeze too much into your talk. Deal with the most important issues. And remember: don’t digress from your main theme. For example: the goosedown duvet … er, no …
All’s well, that ends well. The closing section of your talk will often determine the success or otherwise of your performance. Audiences usually remember the last things you say and judge you upon them. At this point, end your talk with a message or your own personal idea, Leave your listeners with a memorable final phrase ringing in their ears. For example: from the quill pen to the iPad.