Welcome back for part 2 of Working with Your Audience’s learning styles. Last time we discussed how learning cycles can activate your audience. Now we’ll pivot to presentation design, combining education principles with the power of digital production.
Share Your Story, Not Just Your Credentials
Learning is inherently relational. We learn from others with others. Feeling connected can boost your audience’s willingness to engage. So it’s important to establish a rapport with your audience early on. As you introduce yourself and your topic remember that they care about who you are, not just what you do. Be sure to tell your story in a way that grabs their attention and gains their trust.
We once worked with an exec whose personal tragedy laid the foundation for their career. Brella took newspaper clips, photos, and animation to create custom visuals unique to their story. Connecting with your audience is an investment not a waste of time.
Make them Marvel
During your presentation you may be introducing your audience to a new idea or skill. They may be asking themselves “why should I make the switch?” Counteract audience resistance with awe. When learners encounter something astonishing it forces them to reconsider what they think they know.
Your presentation doesn’t have to change the world to change their world. Does a medical device drastically reduce recovery times? Can your training prevent workplace accidents? A skilled design team can help you dream of ways to make your audience feel the weight of your work. Brella designers built a large-scale map for a client foraudiences to grasp the global impact of a new product. The 30 foot structure towered over them, highlighting the hope they’ll bring to millions. However you decide to wow your audience, keep in mind your visuals supplement your content. Whatever you build should align with your message.
Give Your Audience Some Autonomy
Professionals have a wealth of experience and knowledge. Handholding this crowd is a major mistake. Research shows independence helps learners experience the intrinsic rewards of learning like accomplishment and confidence. But don’t worry independence won’t distract your audience. In fact a little autonomy will help keep them engaged.
Your audience can weigh in throughout your presentation in a number of ways, from polling to Q&A. Whatever it is, let them contribute. We once built a deck for a client who wanted to create a “Choose Your Own Adventure” where learners could vote on what portions of their agenda they tackled first. It may be your stage but the more you creatively involve your audience the more likely they are to internalize your ideas.
The more you design your deck the more likely your audience will remember your major takeaways. In the next post, we’ll share ways to maximize your audience’s learning outcomes post-event.