Get your audience to be your alternator

Written by Pam Chambers

One reason public speaking is so scary for most people is that you are on your own up there. You are vulnerable to people’s judgments and observations. You are separate from the herd, standing alone.

A great way to overcome this uncomfortable situation is to get your audience involved. Think of yourself as the battery in a vehicle. Think of your audience as the alternator. In a vehicle, the battery starts the engine. The alternator keeps the battery charged.

When you get your audience involved, the audience “charges” you. You stay energized, you are not alone, and you may end up with more energy than you started with.

The audience members doesn’t know that you need them to be your alternator. You need to make this clear by asking questions from the get-go. Within the first five minutes of your presentation, ask the following types of questions in this order:

  1. Rhetorical: “How many of us like trying new restaurants? I think we all do.”
  2. Show of hands: “Give me a show of hands. How many of you have tried a restaurant, new to you, in the past half year?”
  3. Question addressed to the group at large: “Can anyone recommend a restaurant and say what you liked about it?”
  4. Question addressed to a specific person: “Nathan, if I paid for you and a friend to have dinner at a restaurant of your choice, where would you go and why?”

During the remainder of your presentation, continue to ask questions in random order. This will cause your audience to be the alternator to your battery!

 


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