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Don’t Forget the Altar Call
The key to being relevant is giving your audience members what they need,
and not what you think is interesting or important. The most persuasive
presentations are those that present solutions to real problems rather than
opinions about hypothetical problems.
Don’t Forget the Altar Call
What would a Billy Graham crusade be without the altar call? A wasted
The best presentations are the ones that entice your audience to action. That
might mean buying your product, changing their lifestyles, or just being
interested enough to do more research into your topic.
But the opportunity will be wasted if you don’t invite your audience to respond
in some way. If you’re selling something (and we’re all selling something!),
make it clear how your audience can buy. Tell them the toll-free number. Give
them a handout with links of websites they can go to for more information.
Ask everyone to sing Just As I Am. Do whatever it takes.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Back to good ol’ Abe: Somehow a rumor got started that Abraham Lincoln
hastily wrote the Gettysburg Address on the train, just before pulling into
Gettysburg. In truth, Lincoln agonized for weeks over every word.
Practice, practice, practice. Work through the rough spots. Polish the
opening and the closing and all the awkward transitions in between. Practice in
front of a mirror. Videotape yourself. Time yourself.
Don’t worry! Be happy! Even the most gifted public speakers are scared
silly every time they step up to the podium. Whether you’re speaking to one
person or 10,000, relax. In 20 minutes, it will all be over.
No matter how nervous you are, no one knows it except you. That is, unless
you tell them. The number-one rule of panic avoidance is to never apologize for
your fears. Behind the podium, your knees might be knocking hard enough to
bruise yourself, but no one else will notice. After you swab down your
armpits and wipe the drool off your chin, people will say, “Weren’t you nervous?
You seemed so relaxed!”
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