Hope you have been through my last article, “how to be a good public speaker.” As promised, today I will be sharing some tips on how to connect the audience with you.
As I said in my last article, addressing a large number of audience in public has always been one of the greatest fears of people. However, at the same time, there are people, actors, drama artists, singers and public speakers, who often in public and, on top, the speak flawlessly. Do you know the secret behind their confidence? The secret is establishing a connection with listeners. So, if you want to be a public, besides mastering the fundamentals, you need to learn how to connect the audience with you. Here are some tips to do that.
1Make Yourself As Comfortable As You Can
This is what I always do. Before delivering a lecture, I enjoy watching some stand-up comedy shows. Watching these show serve two purposes. Number one – It relaxes me.
Secondly, sometimes it gives me a chance to learn some jokes or funny one-liners and to use those in my speech. Do not use jokes or one-liners that are out of the context or of no relevance.
2I Don’t Use PowerPoint
I know, most of you are not going to agree here. There is a myth, especially with delivering presentations that regardless of what you say, a picture is worth a thousand words. But I don’ think this way. I don’t use pictures because I don’t want my listener to stare at some screen, while I am speaking to them.
Additionally, if a picture makes a thousand words, it means unless you are not speaking those thousand words, you are not supposed to finish. Trust me, if you use presentations, you have to go by scripts. In that case, you will be deliberately asking your audience to focus on the pictures and not you.
3Spend Some Money on Dresses
How to connect the audience with you is not about wearing a three-piece branded suit. No one is really bothered about what brands are you wearing. The concept is – you have to feel comfortable. If you are not feeling comfortable in the dress you wear, you are going to spoil the show.
Do not wear your suit just because you need it. You can always try alternatives. Though I am comfortable wearing suits, I prefer wearing a cotton shirt and formal trousers with formal shoes. Trust me, it is all about feeling good.
If you think, break are only going to irritate people, then you are wrong. I used to think the same way. But, later I realized that putting a break in between the lectures is a good strategy.
It not only allows you to have some rest and prepare your second part of the speech, but it also allows your users with some time to think about what you’re going to say.
Breaks also give people the feeling that you are not in rush to finish the day. The secret is – you need to master the timing; you need to know how to keep your listeners hungry.
5Questions and Answers
Most of the public speakers only speak. Only speaking and no listening means one-way interaction with your listeners. In broader terms, one-way interaction leads to boredom.
Try to seek the participation of your listeners and the best way to do so is, initiating a question-answer section. Encourage people to ask questions and treat those questions like a part of your presentation.
6Always Share Your Own Experiences
I never give advice to my listeners. I believe, they are not there to have suggestions and I don’t think, I am that smart to give advice. I prefer to talk about my experiences. You cannot connect users with you by criticizing them. You can only make them feel by saying that, “I made this mistake and I suffered a lot.”
How to connect the audience with you is all about making your audience a part of your lecture. Making them feel comfortable will you make you feel comfortable. You cannot be with your audience unless your audience is with you.