Friday, May 22, 2009

Great Public Speaking: Audience Gags

Stone the Speaker

Here's another gag I do when I really want to focus attention
on an important point. Either before the program or at a break,
I recruit audience members who are sitting near the front. I
give each one a piece of crumpled paper and instruct them
to throw it at me when they hear a certain word.

Some presenters tell me that is the dumbest thing they ever
heard and that they would never do it in a professional
presentation. They say that until they understand the
rationale. Do you remember I said I pull this gag when I
want to focus attention on an important point? Guess who
is riveted on what I say until they hear the key word? Of
course, all the recruits with the crumpled paper. Then,
after they throw the paper and I make a big reaction, the
rest of the crowd is totally focused in their effort to see
what is going on. That is when I make my key point. I have
virtually guaranteed the attention of each audience member.
(From "Wake 'em Up Business Presentations")

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