Giving a public speech isn’t exactly like being a teacher trying to keep a room of unruly students under control, but it isn’t that far off. Though a public speaker is often the centerpiece of an event, they’ll also probably have the last spot at the end of the day — which means people will be tired, sore from sitting around, and perhaps thinking ahead to the evening.
Add to that the significant possibility that the topic of the speech will be more complicated than anything preceding it (as in a keynote, for instance, or some kind of main-event lecture), and you have a recipe for distraction and confusion. That doesn’t benefit anyone. The audience will leave dissatisfied, and the speaker will have wasted their time.
That’s why it’s really important to use any and all tricks at your disposal to keep people engaged and alert, and one of the foundational pieces is video content, something that’s also incredibly valuable in the marketing world.
Video content has the power to transfix even the most sluggish crowd, drawing them in with sounds and visuals only to hit them with relevant information. Surprise! It was an educational ruse all along. But you have to get it right.
Here’s how public speakers can make the most of video content to win rave reviews, leave their audiences in awe, and sweeten their profits:
Start with a bang, then simmer down
As noted, you may find when the time comes to begin your public speech that those in attendance (however interested in principle) have mentally checked out to some extent. This is a problem right away because there’ll inevitably be a logical flow to your speech, and anyone who misses the opening is going to be left puzzled — even if they liven up after a while.
To combat this, you need to jolt them out of their collective stupor. And since it’s likely illegal (depending on your region) to deploy a cattle prod, the rational alternative is to get things underway with an attention-grabbing video clip.
Does it need to be bombastic and ear-splitting? No, definitely not. That’s more likely to come across as obnoxious, anyway. It just needs to be loud, and feature content that will make people stop whatever idle chat they’re engaged in and focus on your presentation.
After the first clip, though, dial things way down. If you set a precedent of interspersing parts of your talk with loud clips, people will stop listening to them and start enduring them — and the rest of your talk will turn into recovery periods.
Tell a segmented narrative to keep people attentive
There’s a reason why episodic TV shows are notorious for abusing cliffhangers. When the objective is to keep attention from start to finish, every isolated segment needs to provide some impetus for the viewer to carry on and find out what comes next. The same goes for video content in a public speech.
And the best way to provide that impetus is to tell an overarching narrative through your video clips, with each one continuing from the last. Make the central conceit of the story interesting enough, and everyone will want to stick around to see what happens at the end.
What kind of narrative can you use, though? Well, you can use a case study about a company or individual in your area of expertise (if you’re trying to build a speaking career, you must stick to a certain area to establish yourself). You could even use your own narrative (people love behind-the-scenes content). It just needs to be a story that’s relevant and fairly compelling.
Here’s one example: someone giving a public speech on the challenges faced by modern digital entrepreneurs could use their video content to chart how they fared when they tried to find a great sales niche. Which products did they consider? Which suppliers did they negotiate with? The central lure would be finding out what results they achieved: what niche they ended up going with, and whether it turned a profit (and, if so, how much). If millions will tune in to see people rummaging through storage units for treasure, they’ll watch that!
Throw in the occasional pop culture reference
Public speakers aren’t always addressing their peers — in fact, very often they’re addressing people much younger and/or with great different backgrounds. This can make it tricky to establish any kind of rapport, which is more important than you might think because you’re more likely to follow a presentation if you like the presenter.
If you’ve ever been to this kind of presentation before (and I’ll assume you have), then you’ve probably seen little pieces of creative flair sneak in. This can be (and often is) done poorly, but it’s a key part of a public speaker appearing less robotic and showing that they have some common ground with their audience.
And while you can use memes and similar materials in slides, they’re just not as impactful as videos. Back up a point with a video that everyone will recognize and you’ll reinforce for everyone that, hey, you’re just a regular person like they are. You spend your evenings idly browsing YouTube just like they do.
Use sample resources from buyable courses
This part is less about captivating your audience, and more about boosting your bottom line. After all, everyone needs to make a living, right? And if you can do something to pick up your profits while you’re providing an informative and entertaining public speech, then everyone gets to benefit.
Today, one of the best options for doing this is to offer some free snippets from materials you offer elsewhere at cost. Video courses are increasingly popular, being pivotal parts of online learning systems —- after all, it’s typically a lot easier to understand a video explanation than any other kind —- and video is cheap enough to produce that anyone can throw together a step-by-step video guide.
If you don’t already have any video courses to your name, then just create one ahead of your next public speech. For instance, you could take the overall theme of your speech and create a series of ten three-minute tutorial videos on one of the most complicated themes, then show the first one to end your speech before letting the attendees know that they can see the rest by signing up for your course.
It will add to the value of your speech, making it more useful for the audience, and add to the value you receive from providing the speech. Now that’s what making the most of video content is all about.
It isn’t easy to give a public presentation, trying to capture and retain attention from an audience armed with distracting smartphones — but video content can help turn the tide. Follow these tips to get more eyes on you (and more money in your bank account).
Rodney Laws is an ecommerce expert with over a decade of experience in building online businesses. Check out his reviews on EcommercePlatforms.io and you’ll find practical tips that you can use to build the best online store for your business. Connect with him on Twitter @EcomPlatformsio