Captivate Your Listeners: Strategies for Interactive Speech and Presentation

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Today’s post is dedicated to a good friend of mine who sought my advice on delivering content in an interactive and engaging way. After reviewing her content and providing feedback, it occurred to me that these tips could also benefit the My English Matters students!

You can also listen to this episode on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

Without further ado, let’s go through the tips together:

1. Vary Your Sentences

Create rhythm and variety in your speech by employing a mix of short and long sentences. Integrate pauses between lengthy sentences and complex ideas. Aim to be conversational by simulating a dialogue with your audience. You can do so by asking questions to keep them engaged and invested in your content (see tip number 4). 

2. Highlight Interesting Parts

The purpose of delivering a presentation, as opposed to reading a script aloud, is to establish a personal connection with your audience. Hence, it is your duty to direct your listeners’ attention to compelling aspects of your presentation with phrases like:

“This is interesting because…”

“Let me explain why Point A is crucial…”

“Here’s where it gets interesting.”

By doing so, you guide them to recognise important elements, areas needing more attention, and less critical sections.

3. Express Your Personality

It’s challenging to pay attention to a robotic delivery, isn’t it? Avoid being a “robot” and instead, be a relatable human. You can do so by being conversational, lively, and maintaining eye contact. When relevant, share concise personal anecdotes or moments of humility. Address potential problems by acknowledging them with phrases like: 

“I know it’s easier said than done,” or “I need to be cautious when I say this…” (review tip number 2).

4. Insert Rhetorical and Thought-Provoking Questions

Pose questions throughout your presentation that prompt silent reflection. Encourage active engagement as the audience contemplates your points. You can try using some of the phrases below: 

“What would you do if you were…”

“Do you agree with me if I say that…”

“Wouldn’t it be great if we…”

“Have you ever wondered…”

Pause to allow your audience to ponder before providing your own insights based on your perspective, facts, and research.

5. “Read” Your Audience’s Mind

As mentioned in tip number 3, maintaining eye contact is crucial. This helps you gauge the room’s atmosphere. Analyse body language and facial expressions to determine whether the audience is invested, disinterested, or finding certain parts challenging. You can say something like this:

“I understand this can be difficult for all of us. Let me navigate through this part carefully.”

“Since this can be a little bit confusing, allow me to provide another example.”

You may also acknowledge challenging, controversial, or sensitive content by prefacing your points with phrases such as:

“I understand that this is an unpopular opinion.”

“Bear with me as I delve into these tricky issues.”

“Yes, this issue can be somewhat controversial.”

That concludes my five simple tips, requiring only a thoughtful approach to delivering content interactively from a language standpoint. Remember to rehearse and use phrases that are comfortable and relevant to your situation.

Now if you prefer to listen to me go over these points, make sure you watch the episode of the My English Matters podcast above!

See you next time!

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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