By now, you might be familiar with Peloton, the at-home, on-demand cycling workout. If not, picture this: you’re on a stationary bike with a video screen in front of you. A fit instructor with an infectious personality is guiding you through a beat-pumping workout. You feel like they’re only speaking to you – you have your own personal coach. This is, for many, the power of Peloton.
But this “magic” isn’t limited to these workout coaches. There are a few tools that they use that anyone can harness to improve their own presentation skills.
Give a Preview: Effective instructors let the bikers know what is coming next so they can be prepared and transition to the next move. For example, “We are going to start off with an easy 5-minute warm up and then move into our first of three hills…” Great presenters should do the same for their audience. For example, you can say things like, “We will be covering the three new processes we will need to use in order to make our deadline,” or “I’m going to start with last year’s results before I move onto this year’s challenges and the Q&A.” Be a guide for your audience to keep their interest (and motivation)!
Personalize It: Peloton instructors give personal shout outs: “Come on my NY riders!” Or “Shout out to Dana today for her 100th ride!” You can – and should! – find ways to personalize your talk. For example, use people’s names, reference the team or the location. Speak to something specific someone said earlier, or a topic that’s especially pertinent for your audience. Let the audience know how much they matter.
Change Your Tone: Effective cycling instructors are not yelling like cheerleaders the entire class. Sometimes that’s appropriate, and sometimes a more serious, focused tone is more effective for coaching. Just like in presenting, a calmer style might be the best fit for a warm- up or a cool down, while a loud, “pump you up” attitude might work to get the audience through the meat of the presentation. Vary your tone, volume and pace to keep the audience engaged throughout.
Every instructor has their own style – just like presenters. Incorporate these techniques and find your style to get your audience in shape and excited for the ride.