First of all, if you aren’t already approaching your public speaking engagements as audienced centered, you are a boring public speaker.(For more help, Click Here! )
Sorry to be harsh, but connecting with your audience as a public speaker needs to be your number one priority. People need to know that you are interested in them before they will be interested in you.
The best way to do do this is to keep eye contact with them as much as possible. As you say your speech, look around the room, always scanning. Look at people’s faces, but not at any one person’s for too long, because that can make people feel uncomfortable. This means that you will have to memorize your speech, which is more work, but will also make you more comfortable when you are up in front. Even if you have your speech perfectly memorized, still bring a copy up with you, just in case.
Be Funny! I don’t mean that you have to be a standup comedian up there, but if you have a small joke about the subject matter that you are speaking about at the start of your speech, people will listen to the rest of your speech more intently. Self-depreciating humour is excellent to break the ice. Everyone will see that you do not take yourself too seriously. As well, if you make a mistake in your speech, laugh, or at least smile. This will also put people at ease.
Repeat Yourself! Studies have shown that people only remember about 10% of what they here in a speech fifteen minutes later. The more you repeat your main points, the more likely it is for your audience to remember it. Don’t say the exact words over again, but continue to push your main idea throughout the speech.
Those are my tips for making an audience feel that they are the reason that you are speaking. This is just one facet of public speaking, although it is an important one.
It’s really too bad that our education system doesn’t spend more time on teaching public speaking. It is an integral skill for everyone, whether you are a high-powered CEO talking to board members or a fry-cook asking your boss for a raise. The skill set is the same. You need to be clear, confident and concise. I really recommend learning all you can about the art of public speaking and practising as much as possible.
Remember, no one is a natural at public speaking. If someone looks like they are, it is because they practise and have been taught well. To learn more about public speaking for yourself, I recommend that you Click Here! and get the jump on everyone else.
You’ll also be the life of the party.
Jared loves public speaking.