Thursday, August 9, 2012

How to Teach Your Audience “How To” While Public Speaking

The goal when giving instructional presentations in a public speaking environment is to provide the audience with detailed directions or to guide them through a procedure. It’s common for this type of presentation to feature a longer length format than other types of presentations. 

When giving a presentation that is designed to teach the audience how to do something, it’s critical to keep the goal in the forefront of your mind. The audience should leave the presentation having learned something new that will enable them to complete a specific task.

Begin your speech by providing a vivid description of the reasons why the new information is necessary. Tell the audience what they will be able to accomplish after they learn the steps that you will teach in your instructional presentation.

Provide your audience with an outline of the topics you will cover. Remember that because you are engaged in public speaking to a group of people, your outline should be brief and should use verbiage that the members of that particular audience will understand. 

Use a visual aid to show the audience how to do the task. The visual aid can involve your demonstration of the task, or can involve the use of technology such as video or Powerpoint images indicating the steps involved.

Follow up the visual demonstration with a detailed verbal description of each step. This will allow audience members who aren’t visual learners the opportunity to learn the task. It is important to use clear communication that is geared toward the needs and educational level of the audience you’re speaking to. 

Just prior to the close of your presentation, it is important to open the floor for questions. Ask your audience members if they have any questions about the process you’ve taught. Take the time to give a clear and specific answer to each question. 

To close out your presentation, lead the audience in a discussion on the ways in which the new information will solve their problem. Whenever you are engaged in public speaking, it is important to end your speech with a short recap of the information you gave them. 

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