The presentation is starting. A few minutes into the presentation, we often find ourselves either thinking of a million other things, or are bored out of our minds. Why don't people realize that it doesn't matter how amazing the information is that they are putting forth, none of it will matter if it does not "engage" and "touch" their audience – leaving them wanting to hear more? Knowing that many of us have had to sit through presentations like this, let's now turn it around. You find that you are going to be presenting to a group. How can you reach the part of your audience's "cognitive" thinking to ensure that their minds and "ears" are open?

Here are just a few of my presentation secrets that will keep your audience hanging on every word.

During any presentation – large or small, you need to make sure that you speak like a person – not like a textbook. To begin, you need to not speak to your audience as if you are Sheldon from the "Big Bang Theory". This is not to in any way imply that your audience is "stupid", but rather, it's a reminder that you need to speak to them in "real" terms. Do not try too hard, or use too many irrelevant words of pictures. I often look to Steve Jobs, and how he did his presentations. Standing on that stage, he believed in his product, and spoke to his audience in a simple yet effective manner. His slides were kept to a minimum, but were VERY IMPACTFUL. He knew that he did not need a lot of fancy Powerpoint to impress his audience. When preparing and giving a presentation, keep it simple.

Your first impression could be compared to being your business card, in effect, and it will determine in an instant, whether a person will listen to you, or not.

If you don’t make them want to listen right at the start, they probably won’t. Establish your credibility – gaining their respect early on. It's been found that most people remember mostly what you say first. State your really important information right at the beginning. Be clear and concise. The rest of your presentation should then explain your reasoning and your key points further.

Your presentation, as well as your initial introduction are extremely important, and should not be taken lightly – EVER!

You are not lecturing students in a classroom. Think back to when you were last sitting in a classroom listening to someone. Did you like those "teachers" who just stood there and spewed out information, or do you remember the ones most who were engaging and included the group in the conversation? Exactly. Aim for that two-way communication in every presentation that you make. Always make an extreme effort to CONNECT with your audience. Once you've got them, you've got them.

Also try this when preparing your next slide presentation. With regard to what you are showing on each particular slide, image that you are passing this slide as you are driving by quickly. Did it get your attention? Were you able to get it's message quickly? If you do not understand it, you should probably re-work it.

Standing in one place for the entire presentation is another poison to your presentation. While you shouldn't be pacing around nervously either, practice being comfortable moving around the stage, or front of a room, knowing when to pause when making an important statement, etc. Practice ahead of time until it becomes second nature.

One of the last secrets I want to mention is: know your audience, and adapt yourself accordingly. Keep them and their interests in mind at all times. If you hone in on what gets them to pay attention, the rest will be a breeze. Don't ramble on about your accomplishments, or your company's accomplishments. Make it about them – how you can solve THEIR PROBLEMS.

It's always gonna be about them – your clients – your audience. Having said this, you do still HAVE THE POWER to control the conversations – to get their attention by paying attention to the points I mentioned above, while making it seem as if it's all about them. The power comes when you actually "reach" people with your "message" , leaving them wanting more.

There is no excuse for a lousy presentation. Put the time and effort in, and the rewards will easily follow. And, if you find yourself needing help with your presentation endeavors, just ask!

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