Actor Melissa McCarthy hosted Saturday Night Live for the fifth time last week. For the monologue portion of the show where the host typically promotes whatever movie or show they are releasing, McCarthy did something different. She acknowledged how excited she was to be hosting SNL once again; (the show has even created a “Five Timers” club that includes actors Steve Martin, Tom Hanks and Alec Baldwin.) But she dedicated the rest of her time to honoring all the mothers in the audience, since the following day would be Mother’s Day.
In a surprising moment, McCarthy picked a mom from the audience and gave her a backstage tour of the SNL studio. The bit was hilarious and warm-hearted. By sharing the stage, McCarthy gave an audience member a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As a presenter, you too can surprise your presentation audience.
Leave room in your presentation to be in the moment. Instead of reading through your note cards as you click through each slide, let loose and go off script a little. Telling a story or a joke are some ways you can create an unforgettable moment through the power of storytelling.
Another opportunity for surprise is to make an audience member part of your presentation. Like what McCarthy did on live television, you can pull a volunteer from the crowd. Put your ideas to the test by having an audience member try them out. Maybe you are demonstrating a new device? Or maybe to your testing a new smartphone app? Getting the audience involved will make for a memorable moment and will further the impact of your message.
We all know Oprah’s famous, “You get a car!” episode where each audience member was given a set of car keys. Well, you don’t have to give away a car, but you can giveaway your product. Whether it’s a book, new piece of technology, or even a branded office item, audiences love free stuff and will walk out with a constant reminder of your presentation.
Make your presentation magical by incorporating an element of surprise. Try out these three ideas, or something else, for your next presentation. This way, you will leave a lasting impression on your audience, who will hopefully be returning to see your next presentation.
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