Just like your first record, 8-track, cassette tape, or CD, everyone remembers their first music concert. You’ll more than likely have memories of the venue and those you were with, but what you remember most is the actual group. No matter the genre: rock, jazz, pop, etc., the energy – or the lack thereof – is what you remember. How did they come out on stage? What was their opening song? Did they engage with the audience? Did they make you want to sing until you lost your voice? Did you get emotional? And the ultimate litmus test for how successful it was, did seeing them live make you love their music even more?
Your role as a presenter is really no different. Perhaps you don’t feel like a rockstar – you likely don’t have the following that U2 or Garth Brooks have when they enter the stage, but your objective and ability to impact the audience and create an experience is similar. Your audience members will probably not be impressed with the venue or find their work colleagues terribly memorable – but they are there to hear from you.
Be the Entertainer They’re Not Expecting
It may seem silly to visualize yourself as a rockstar when delivering year-end results and the next quarter’s goals – but, consider the following aspects any successful entertainer plans for, and you’ll realize it’s not silly at all:
- Who/what comes before me? Understanding who/what your “opening act” is will affect the state of your audience when you show up. Your job is to try to either continue to ride the energy that was left before, or find a way to invigorate your audience so that they want to be there.
- What is the venue and space that I’m working with? Think about your “stage” –understanding the set up and your space to move in will help you create a positive environment and experience.
- What is my demographic? Know your audience! Try to understand why they are there and what they are hoping to achieve or experience from being there.
- How do I interact with my audience? Some acts simply get on stage and play through the set list as though you simply put their cd in the player. No interaction. They probably don’t quite know what city they’re even it. Others get on the stage so immersed in what they’re doing, that 30 minutes later they are still jamming on the same song, leaving the audience unsure of where one song started and another ended. The real entertainers however, make it an experience. They understand their audience and know what they want to hear. They take it a step further and deliver the unexpected (along with the expected) leaving the audience wanting more and wondering what will come next.
Think of your presentation as a show – a show that needs to not only deliver the expected information, but win over and inspire the audience. When you think of yourself as an entertainer, you’ll be amazed at the outcome. Leave your audience impressed and wanting to know more. Learn more about how to incorporate the 10 Commandments of Great Communicators to help you be the entertainer people remember from my book A Climb to the Top.