You are 30 minutes away from ending your speech, when your assistant signals one of the employees to distribute the giveaways. While there is no loud commotion when the giveaways are distributed, after a few minutes, you see people sitting at the back leaving the conference in the middle of your speech.
Not only does this make you feel annoyed but confused too. Was it the giveaways they were waiting for or is your speech so boring that people can’t stand for it to finish? It’s probably a combination of both, which means that you need to work on your presentation and the timing for handing out the giveaways.
It’s all about the Anticipation
If your giveaways include a notebook and a pen, then a great thing to do would be to hand them out 10 minutes after your speech starts. You can add a small session about “techniques” and tell people to take notes for the questioning session later. The more interactive you are with the audience, the more engaged they will be in the speech.
On the other hand, if the giveaways are something like a mug, a t-shirt, a bag or a clock, then display the custom conference bags at the entrance of the conference. This tells the attendees that there are giveaways that will be distributed sometime between or after the speech. This keeps people glued to their seat and allows you to determine your true listeners.
Following are three tips on how to make your speech and presentation interesting, so that people don’t leave soon after they receive the goodie bags:
Keep it Simple – Postcards Sized Information Material
Is there some kind of information you want to be handed out before the speech, so that the audience can follow what you say better? Instead of handing out an envelope filled with papers and a booklet, why not summarise everything in points and print them on a postcard sized paper? This way, the attendees will know beforehand what you are talking about and the newcomers can easily catch-up.
Make sure to include your name, phone number and email address at the back of the card, so that people can contact you after the conference.
Make Sure the Speech Includes Demos
Sometimes, to spice things up a bit, you need to conduct a physical activity that will keep the audience interested. Depending on what your speech is about, first: show a small video. Second: engage with a person and play a 45 seconds game. Reward the participator at the end with a pen or a keychain, so that the next participator takes more interest.
Quality over Quantity
Long speeches will literally put people to sleep. Just like including demos and games in your speech plan, you need to come up with something unique that will keep the audience fresh. A great way to do this is by handing out coffee. Instead of people getting up in the middle of the speech and getting coffee themselves, why not keep the employees standing nearby, so that they can be of assistance. This builds a strong relationship, as the attendees will see the employees, not the waiters engaging with everyone.
Try these three tips and you will see a good number of the audience sitting throughout your speech.