"Things are always at their best in the beginning."
— Blaise Pascal (Scientist)
Powerful speakers start powerfully. They engage their audiences immediately. You must gain the audience's attention and interest within the first few minutes you appear in front of them. Without that attention, you won't get your message across, you'll have trouble sustaining whatever interest there is, and you won't have established your leadership and control—the keys to being a powerful speaker.
"Great is the art of beginning, but greater is the art of ending."
--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
You grabbed audience attention in the opening, you held it throughout your speech, and now you want to close. It may seem to you like a time to simply summarise, say “Thank you”, return to your seat and happily breathe a sigh of relief, right? WRONG!
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People often ask: "How can I make my audience remember my presentations better?"
Research shows that the average audience member can hold and retain about 3 to 5 ideas in his working memory and his attention span lasts an average of 25 minutes. What this means is that if you bombard your listeners with a topic like a "15-point Action Plan to Diversifying Your Income", they'll probably end up remembering less than five points and the rest will be quickly forgotten, even before they walked out the door!
You could learn to deliver more powerful presentations by understanding in-depth the three necessary ingredients that go into making a great presentation. They each never work in isolation.
The three ingredients are as follows.
Jonas Ezeanya is an executive speech coach and presentation expert based in Lagos, Nigeria. Connect with him on LinkedIn.