Can you wake up this audience?
You can if you earn their attention.
Recently I received this question from an experienced presenter. Feel his pain.
I thought my portion went reasonably well, but I was preceded by a presenter who took about three hours for a 25-minute workshop and sort of lulled the room into a state of boredom. I could feel him losing the room during his presentation, and I knew it wouldn’t be good news for me to follow. Sure enough, I was met with many glazed-over eyes and a real lack of participation and interactiveness. What have you seen dynamic presenters do in that situation? I’m sure for every great presenter out there, there are plenty of bad ones, and if I want to be great, I’ll need to be able to pick up my game, regardless of those before or after me.
Following a dud is worse than following a champ.
Here is my answer. Please send us your suggestions for his plight.
I have seen this all too often.
Here are steps I have seen successful:
When you are introduced, be in the back of the room, speak loudly and thank the previous presenter. Make a grand entrance slapping high 5's and show energy
Use music to transition to your presentation. Farrell Williams' "Happy" is a good example..
Consider running a video of “Happy.” Here is a version with the Minions. https://youtu.be/MOWDb2TBYDg Wait a minute then begin clapping along with the music. It says "clap" on the screen but a tired audience may be reluctant.
At the very least, get them up in place with some activity. Don't let them leave the room. Promise them you will only take (xx) "useful" minutes and they are free to leave.
Be discovered in the audience, stand on a chair, and greet the crowd with your promise to be (xx) minutes with useful content
Anything that will completely recover the room will be unexpected and welcome.
One presenter recently entered the room with music and 5 twenty dollar bills. He handed them out randomly with a promise each recipient could keep the $20 if they answered a question at the end of his presentation.
Keep your energy up through the entire presentation, being interactive where possible, as often as possible.
BE RELEVANT - don't waste their time - at all. They will begin to leave for sure.
In many cased this challenge is worse than speaking after lunch.
Give me your thoughts on these suggestions when you can.