Wednesday, February 24, 2010

5 Reasons Speakers Play Games

One visually impacting tools savvy public speakers use are “games.” It takes a little extra work to conjure up an effective game to play with your audience, but it’s a mighty fine time investment.

Even a trivia contest, left side of the room against the right side, can really draw an audience into your presentation.

The best flight I ever had on Southwest Airlines was the one a creative flight attendant helped us play the “ugliest drivers license picture” game. Try it, , , everyone will have a ball.

There are many benefits to using a game as visual re-enforcement of your message. Here are my top five. . .

1. Gain and Hold Attention. For instance, it is often difficult to hold an audiences attention during the first session after a lunch break. So plan to include a lively game during these times.

2. Draw Out Emotion.
A good game can trigger many feelings. A spirit of competition. Excitement. Togetherness. The joy of winning. And the “agony of defeat.”

3. Springboard to Your Topic. Any presenter can spin their talk off of one of the above emotions. Or they can use any other aspect of their game as a jumping-off point for their presentation.

The more you can get your game and your topic together, the better the whole activity will propel your speech.

4. Teach Teamwork. An effective game should promote relationships, collaboration and working together. Again, the more you can tie the two together, the more of a winner everyone will be.

5. Teach Dealing with Defeat. It seems trite to say but, “every time there is a winner there is, at least one loser.” Every job-hunter has to apply for forty or more jobs to finally find one. No sales person closes ever sale. How many of us have lost at love?

As speakers, we are often have to deal with this reality of life. And the game you orchestrate into your presentation can help a lot.

These are a five of the huge benefits you’ll receive when you begin to “play games.” There will be a lot more on this topic in the future.


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