How can I surprise my audience? How can I make my slides more punchy? How can my gestures reinforce what I’m saying? How can I involve the audience?
No doubt, these are all valid questions. But only after we have answered an even more important question: What change are we trying to make? Where does our audience come from and where are we leading them? What do they believe before the talk and what do they believe afterwards?
Because only the answers to these questions enable me to identify what kind of surprise will grab my audience’s attention. What kind of punch will hold their attention. What kind of involvement will incite action.
A wow effect is a means to achieve an aha effect. The better you understand what exactly the aha looks like from your audience’s perspective, the better you’ll be able to identify the kind of wow that leads them to that aha.