Surprise Your Audience
And They Will Listen

Posted by Damon Nofar | February 25, 2017
Hi, we are a young company who have developed a system for mobile transactions.
You already lost my attention.

Speaking in public is not an easy task and giving a great speech is even harder. Not only do you have to memorize your whole speech, but also entertain the group of people in front of you that you barely know anything about. So, how can you catch the audience's attention and keep it throughout your presentation?
You have to surprise them!
Here are three ways to do this:

1. Make bold statements
We get intrigued by bold statements, surprising facts, and shocking stats. It gives the brain a kick and makes us curious to know more.

How to do it:
Imagine this scenario: you are a startup that is gonna pitch your new mobile payment app to a group of investors. You could start with the statement above "Hi, we are a young company..." or you could go bold right away with a statement like this:
Now you definitely have the attention of the investors! All you need to do is to back up your bold statement (note: only make statements you can back up).
2. Tell a great story
We all know how powerful stories can be and we see it daily in commercials and other marketing efforts around the world. The same goes with presentations - turn your message into a great story and your audience will never forget you.

How to do it:
Doing an investor pitch? Tell them how your idea came about.
Pitching a potential client? Show them a client success story.
Educating students? Show practical applications of what you are teaching and let the students be part of the story.

3. Keep it unexpected
The audience have expectations about you, your topic, your voice, your body language, your slides, and so on. The only way to really excite your audience is by breaking their expectations one way or another.

How to do it?
Making bold statements and telling great stories are two ways of breaking peoples' expectations. Another way is to use humor in your speech to connect with the audience and make them relax.

And my personal favorite is to share great design which definitely surprises the audience considering the amount of bad PowerPoint slides there are out there. These are all unexpected elements that you can use for your next presentation in order to surprise your audience and keep them on the edge of their seats.
This post was originally posted on LinkedIn SlideShare, see full deck here.
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