Often when we engage in public speaking we are engaging in a selling exercise. It could be that we want to sell our product, our ideas, our opinions or even ourselves in interviews – but whatever it is, we must engage our audience on two levels.

First we need to give the listener the information they need to make them feel that it is believable and thus trustworthy – so we engage then intellectually. And then we need to enthuse them, to motivate them to take some action about that information – and here we engage them emotionally.

A good presentation will engage the listeners on both levels within the framework of that presentation – the Opening, the Body and the Conclusion.

How you develop the presentation depends on what motivation you wan to instill in the listeners; and what purpose you wish to achieve; but whatever the objective – working on the AIDA principle will stand you in good stead.

A – Attention – catch the audience’s attention right from the start. Open with a question; make a startling claim (which can be backed up of course!); tell an interesting anecdote that leads onto the main topic. This is the opening of the presentation.

I – Interest – The detailed explanation of what the facts are; what the product is. Put so that it is designed to appeal to the audience’s self-interest.

D – Desire – Now show how the change or the choice can impact on them and explain all the advantages to be gained; focus on what’s in it for them. The Interest and Desire should be generated by the body of the presentation.

A – Action – It is not enough to catch the listener’s interest and desire, they should be willing to make the choice or change that brings it about. So encourage the listener to take action by making it clear and easy to do. This is the re-iteration of the main points followed by what to do to achieve the desired outcome, this is the conclusion of the presentation.

Persuasive speaking, while depending on facts is more gauged towards emotional appeals. AIDA will keep you focused on where the argument is heading, but the presentation needs to be carried out with appropriate energy and enthusiasm on your part. You will never enthuse your audience if you yourself fail to show your enthusiasm.

Presentation skills are more important in these types of presentations; but they can be learned. The use of appropriate body language and gestures, the energy generated by proper vocal techniques, these are all necessary tools for any presenter engaged in selling their message.

If you are a beginner, then why not book for our “One-Day Public Speaking Workshop on September 25th? Or if you feel you need more skills than that, enquire about our Special “Advanced Presentation Skills Workshop” which will be held in November.

Can I persuade you to do that?

Michele @ Trischel

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