Public Speaking Ideas- Audience Participation Adds Impact
Taste: A great meal is a great memory.
I can’t remember every meal I’ve eaten (although I carry the evidence), but I can remember certain times that were outstanding. A good public presentation is that way, it is memorable- like a great taste that lingers in the mind long after the palate has moved on to something else. When preparing a presentation it is a good idea to consider taste and how you can get it involved into your presentation. Consider your next presentation, what taste comes to mind? That may sound like a silly question, but if the material you are presenting is important and you want your audience to remember it, involve as many senses as possible. Taste may seem like a difficult consideration, but if you think about it and let your creativity guide you, it may be possible to add something that will make your presentation a very memorable experience.
Speaking to a group on the powers of refreshing friendships I had volunteers pass out small glasses of ice water. Another time speaking on the idiosyncrasies of the group I was presenting to, I passed out small glasses of 7-Up (at that time the “Uncola”). On another occasion, speaking on the need of refreshment and renewal (on a very hot summer day) I passed out Dixie Cups of ice cream. Each time there was a very welcomed reception of the refreshments, but I was also able to use the “taste” of the experience as dramatic illustration of the subject matter. People became more engaged in the presentation than if I had only used words and descriptions. Having the illustration in their hands (and literally their mouths) made the message come alive and offered a greater engagement of the audience with the point of the presentation.
Taste is a very powerful sense that can also create and/or recall emotions. By doing so people connect to your message at a deeper level than just the spoken communication. When taste is used to reinforce the verbal a clear connection and more memorable experience is likely. Think of the difference your presentation will make if you simply, creatively come up with a taste experience for your audience to share. When you tell a story, give an anecdote, make a demonstration and then add an element that is not expected- giving them something to taste, not just think about, or touch, but actually taste… imagine the impact.
When preparing your presentation, does a specific taste come to mind? How can you incorporate that into your presentation? Can you use that in a clever and innovative way to reinforce the message? Don’t be afraid to try new things, new ways. Your creativity may set you and your message apart and your audience. You may be able to take your material from their mouth to their imaginations.
Craig Wagganer is an instructor for The Leader’s Institute® and teaches the Fearless Presentations® public speaking training class as well as individual presentation coaching sessions for clients and individuals.