Carl Storz

Oral Presentation Skills

Creating interest and establishing a relationship with the audience

Do not assume the audience will be interested in what you have to say. Even if they are, minds wander and get distracted. From the very beginning you need to create interest and continue doing so throughout your speech. You need to put everything on your side to promote knowledge acquisition. In informing an audience you have to adjust to what people think, to constraints, maintain a dialogue (and not a monologue) and use attractive supporting material.

Arouse listeners' interest from the beginning. In the introduction show how your subject or what you are going to say affects or may affect their lives. This can be accomplished in a number of ways.

  • Give an unusual fact or statistic.
  • Use words like you, we, us, our.
  • Illustrate with a real life story.
  • Ask the audience to do something. "Raise your hands if you know..".
  • Ask the audience rhetorical questions for which the speaker does not expect an answer but should attract the listener's ear.
  • Be brief and clear in giving the subject and purpose. Speakers attitude is important - knowledge, personality, openness.
  • Be lively and enthusiastic.
  • Use a variety of media sources.


Rhetorical Questions

What is a rhetorical question? A question that you ask without expecting it to be answered. Why use such a question? In using such a question the speaker appears to be having a dialogue with the listeners. It also should catch their attention.


Saying that something is important.

Stress verbs with your voice.

Add an auxiliary verb.

Change the word order


page updated 02/10/2013