It takes more than just amazing content to be unforgettable. According to Matt Abrams, a Stanford lecturer and public speaking expert, unforgettable presentations require knowing your audience’s perspective, and giving them a reason to care about what you’re saying
. In other words, you need to establish an emotional connection with your audience in a way that speaks their language.
It also takes a good amount of creative effort to move participants from the zombie state into a state where they don’t want to go home.
If you want to host a seminar where people leave feeling fulfilled, excited, and motivated, follow these six tips to create an atmosphere that will support that vision. 1. Get people up and moving in a silly way
Sometimes people come to seminars but don’t like to participate because they feel shy. You’d think that spending a lot of money would be a good reason for them to overcome their shyness but it isn’t always enough. To help relieve insecurity, have everyone do something fun and silly to get their shyness out of the way.
When you ask all of your participants to get up and do something completely silly, it removes some of the barriers that can make people feel self-conscious, even when exchanging thoughts with their neighbour. The fact that everyone is doing the same silly thing puts everyone on the same level. When nobody is too good to be silly, it helps participants relax and self-consciousness disappears.
It also makes your event memorable. Who wouldn’t remember the seminar where a few hundred people in business suits marched down the aisle from the stage pretending to play an air guitar while jumping up and down? That’s just one technique Kane Minkus uses
in some of his seminars. 2. Host a surprise raffle
Raffles are always fun and often used as a marketing strategy to flip people on the fence about attending. For some people to turn maybe into definitely, all they need is a chance to win a high-ticket item.
But raffles can be used for more than just getting people in the door. You can really create an impact by hosting a surprise raffle nobody knows they’ve entered.
About halfway through your seminar, when people are just getting settled into their seats from a long break, that’s the best time to announce the first winner of your surprise raffle. People will perk up knowing there will be more prizes, and they’ll magically be wide awake. 3. Give out gifts to parents—for their kids
While raffles are a great way to keep your guests excited, consider having a stash of small gifts for kids. For example, sites like Dinkleboo.com
offer everything from custom pencil cases to kids drink bottles – they can even be personalised. You don’t have to raffle these gifts, you can simply ask the audience who has kids and pass them out accordingly.
When they return home, their kids will love receiving a personal gift they can relate to instead of just a random trinket from a sponsor. 4. Involve the audience
Once you’ve given the important aspects of your presentation, you may want to consider opening up the stage for some of your participants to come and share their experiences and expertise with the audience. You can do this in a talk show setting where you bring out another stool or a couple of comfortable chairs for a relaxed conversation.
This allows people to share their expertise with the audience, and feel included in the event. You can always set the parameters for the discussion, and you’ll be able to guide it if things get off track. 5. Interact personally with the participants
Some seminar leaders and presenters have made it a rule for themselves to immediately exit once the presentation is over. This makes sense for many people, especially when they’re really famous and there’s a potential for unsafe interactions. However, when you don’t have to worry about being rushed by crazed fans, there is something to be said for taking the time to personally interact with your attendees. 6. Become a better storyteller Boring people tell boring stories
that nobody can relate to. If your audience doesn’t have an emotional reaction by the time you’re done telling your story, if they’re not in tears or laughing hysterically, you really need to learn how to tell a better story.
Telling a better story isn’t about getting the words right. It’s about crafting your story in a way that grabs people’s attention and holds it. A great story is one you’re personally invested in. Your audience can always tell when you’re just reciting something you’ve memorised.
Practice telling your story to friends and family. Keep reworking it until it generates an emotional reaction from people. When it does, you’ll be ready to share it on stage. Be unforgettable
Your seminars should be unforgettable — not for being outrageous and random, but for providing high value, creating breakthroughs for your guests, and providing fun. Anytime you can do something that provides value for people and makes them feel an emotion at the same time, they’re going to remember it and talk about you for a long time.