Using Props in Your Professional Speaking Presentation
People learn and retain information in different ways. As a professional speaker, you must also learn to incorporate as many different ways of engaging your audience in order to reach as many people as possible. In fact, you have an obligation to use anything and everything it takes so that more people can relate your message to their life. This means at one point in your career, you’ll have to use props as part of your message.
A “prop” is any object that is handled or used while you are on stage. Props can be many different things such as flip charts, demonstrations, overhead projections – images, photos, and videos, and even other people. These props enhance the message you are trying to convey to your audience and can also help people connect with your ideas.
Props help your audience to get engaged in your presentation. They help to warm your audience and draws attention to the points your making in your presentation. They are visual illustrations that often are better able to convey the message than your spoken word can. It’s one thing to hear a new idea, but when people see your idea visually, they can develop a mental image in their mind and become visually oriented with what you are trying to say. Visual presentations often make your points interesting and it breaks up the monotony of only hearing you speak. For this reason, props can be used to add variety to your presentation.
Prizes and giveaways make excellent opening props. Often done with large audience presentations such as in large arenas, props are a great way to open your audience. It fires up your audience bringing excitement and anticipation for what you are going to speak about. The prizes may or may not be related to your message. You can use them as icebreakers or even as a way to draw excitement and attention to your support material sales at the back of the room.
Props can often be used as the “impromptu” portion of your presentation. When used correctly, your props can have your audience sitting on the edge of their chair as they strive to see what you are doing at the front of the room. As you talk about your props, your audience won’t feel like you are reading a speech, which brings us to the next point. They can also be a substitute for notes since they automatically prompt you to describe the reason for introducing the prop in the first place. You can essentially go through an entire presentation just using props!
Props have a valuable role in your presentation. Visual images are more easily remembered than the words you speak. On top of that, showing your audience the points you are trying to make can say more than telling your audience those same points. You know the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words! Props can also help to invoke excitement and rev up your audience as you warm them up for your presentation! Begin to use props in your presentations and see how engaged your audience becomes!
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