Connecting with your Audience

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 July 2015 12:56 Written by Pam Chambers Thursday, 27 October 2011 06:33

Many speakers are likable. Many are trustworthy. But not all are connected.

If you want to be effective, you must quickly form a bridge between yourself and your audience. Here are five techniques:

  1. Eye contact. The people in your audience want to believe that you notice them and are glad that they are there. In a random manner (as opposed to scanning like a lighthouse), give 2 or 3 seconds of eye contact to as many people as you can.
  2. Universal topics. Include stories that everyone can relate to: conflicts, mistakes, unexpected wins, joyful events, lessons learned.
  3. Show that you know who they are. Talk about their website, their recent successes or challenges, or a conversation you had with an audience member on the way in.
  4. Tell a story about yourself. The story should reveal something about yourself when you knew less than you know now. “I used to quiver at the back of the room, knowing that I would have to walk down that aisle and introduce the keynote speaker.”
  5. Another way to connect with your audience is through emotion. It’s OK to talk about how sad you are that . . . or how puzzled you are that . . .

You will be an effective speaker if you make it a priority to connect with your audience.

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