In public speaking getting the audience to be part of the speech is a great way to keep them interested.
Here is another way to cause people in an audience to feel they are a part of the program is to label or “tag” them frequently. That is, refer to them as, “My friends . . . ladies and gentlemen . . . fellow citizens . . . fellow Americans . . . neighbors . . . kind friends . . . ladies in the audience will agree . . . you gentlemen know . . . you housewives realize . . . students . . . young people . . . you farmers here tonight know . . . you businessmen see, and so on.
When a speaker sincerely, and favorably labels an audience he indicates a personal interest in the people. And this also causes listeners to feel the speaker is conversing with them direct¬y “off the cuff” rather than delivering a prepared oration designed to high pressure them into agreement.
Speakers with’ friendly informal receptive, and flexible at¬titudes toward audiences will be alert to inject intriguing bits of showmanship into their speeches. They will be more interested in getting a successful speaker-audience human relationship than in gathering persona? prestige or glory. But by getting this over¬all harmonious relationship a speaker receives the personal bene¬fits indirectly.
When a speaker uses showmanship effectively an audience feels, “That’s our boy!” and, “This is our experience rather than his monologue.”
Ideas for including showmanship in your talks:
1. Plan an interesting bit of showmanship for your next talk.
2. Make a list of all the illustrations of showmanship you have
observed in public speaking.
3. Have you observed some attempted showmanship that failed?
Why did it fail? Or if you haven’t observed tfiis what might cause
attempted showmanship to be ineffective?
4. Describe an able “showman’s” manner.
5. How would an able speaker handle the following situations
if they occurred while he was speaking:
a. The power fails so the lights all go out.
b. Someone in the audience calls out, “Who told you you
c. A cat enters the room and walks up to the speaker.
d. A baby in the audience cries.
e. Two people in the front row are whispering constantly.
£. You discover you have forgotten your notes when you
walk out to speak.
g. The chairman does a very poor job introducing you.
h. People are obviously tired physically when you come out to speak.
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