As a speaker or speechwriter, you will not always have exciting topics that make it easy to keep the audience’s attention. Sometimes, you have to write and/or give a speech about something that, at least on a surface level, appears entirely dull. When this happens, do not feel discouraged. Even the most boring of topics can be spoken about with pizazz.
If ever faced with writing a speech or presenting on a boring topic, here are a few rules you can follow to keep the audience interested:
Say you’re giving a presentation about a new company software. By the looks on people’s faces, you can tell they’re not too excited about it. Instead of pretending new software is the best thing ever created, you can acknowledge up front that the topic may not be the most exciting one to learn about. Also, mention you will do your best to deliver an engaging presentation. This can show the audience you understand how they feel and boost your credibility for attempting to make it worth their while.
Speak with enthusiasm
It is much easier to ignore someone who speaks monotonously about a dull topic than it is to hear from someone who is genuinely excited about it. Even if you can’t get the audience excited about new electrical systems, you can at least hold their attention by speaking with passion. The more energy and variety you have, the more likely your audience will pay attention.
Make it interactive
By frequently asking questions or incorporating audience members into your presentation, you will increase engagement. If you have a small audience, it is easy to learn names and call on specific people, or use their names during examples throughout your speech. In larger audiences, you can ask for a show of hands (e.g. “How many of you use Product X daily?”) or call on specific people to answer questions. The more people who are involved with your presentation, the more they will listen to what you have to say.
Just about any topic can benefit from some added humor. If you can make the audience laugh, they will be more inclined to listen to you. If your topic just does not seem funny, poke fun at your interest in it, or find a related topic you can make a joke about.
Even if they tune out everything else you say, people generally listen to stories. Incorporate anecdotes, or even detailed stories, into your presentation. Just be sure they tie into your key messages.