Could Twitter be your friend, not your foe?

Could Twitter be your friend, not your foe?
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All too often when we are starting out a speech we’ll ask our audience to put away their cell phones so that they can pay attention to us. We believe in the importance of public speaking and so we don’t want our audience to be distracted by Facebook and Twitter, we want them to be hanging on our every word. However, is it possible that we’ve gotten this all wrong? Could Twitter actually be our friend? Is it possible to use Twitter to make our next speech even better?

3 Ways To Use Twitter With Your Next Speech

A speech is all about, what else, having people come and listen to you speak. What this means is that if you can tease them with examples of what you are going to be talking about before they come, then they’ll be motivated to both show up and then to listen when they do come.

This is where Twitter can come in. Using Twitter you can “tweet out” links to audio recordings. This means that you can create teasers about what you’ll be covering during your speech for your audience to listen to before you actually give your speech.

This can be especially powerful if you’ll be revealing a process or an approach that will teach your audience how to solve some sort of problem. It can also be very effective if you’ll be talking about a controversial topic. In both cases, revealing just a little bit about what you’ll be saying will capture interest and should pack the room.

As a speaker, you are going to want to build the best speech possible. However, you don’t know everything. The people who have connected with you on Twitter may be experts on the subject that you’ll be talking about. It would be foolish to try to give a talk without getting their help.

What this means is that you’ll need to use Twitter to ask for their input. Pose provocative questions. Ask for links to references. Twitter does not give you a lot of space to ask long questions so you’re going to have to keep things short, but that will boost the chances of the right people reading your questions.

What to call your speech is one of the most important decisions that a speaker can make. A good title or tagline will cause more people to elect to come and hear you. However, just exactly what tagline will cause this level of interest can be a bit of a mystery.

However, once again Twitter can lend a helping hand. By conversing with your Twitter followers before you give the speech, you can keep your eyes open in order to find out how your followers describe what you’ll be talking about. They don’t have a lot of room to express themselves so there’s a good chance that you’ll come across a couple of very good taglines in these Twitter conversations. Thank the person that you get it from and use it to capture potential audience member’s attention to get them to come and hear you speak.

What All Of This Means For You

For far too long speakers have been waging a battle with social media tools. We want our audiences to be paying attention to us, not to their cell phones. I believe that this is a battle that we’ll never win. However, maybe we can start to use Twitter to make our speeches even better and help to unlock the benefits of public speaking for our audiences.

Twitter is a powerful tool if we know how to use it correctly. We can use it to send out audio clips before our next speech. Nothing generates interest like giving a sample of what you’ll be saying before you say it. You don’t know everything and Twitter can be a powerful tool for doing research. Go into your next speech knowing more than you do today. Titles and taglines are what people remember. Use Twitter to get suggestions for your speech’s tagline.

Twitter is here to stay. As speakers we need to learn how to coexist with this powerful social media tool. Use these three suggestions to harness the power of Twitter before your next speech. You just might be amazed at how much better that speech turns out!

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How much before your speech should you start to use Twitter to get the word out?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

The time that you’ve been allocated in which to deliver your next speech is limited despite the fact that we all know about the importance of public speaking. What this means for you is that you are going to have to make each word that you say count – you don’t have time to waste any words. Somehow you are going to have to find a way to make your words stronger by using energetic language.

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How are you going to keep an audience's attention?

How are you going to keep an audience’s attention?
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A really good jamming device. That’s what most speakers would like to bring to their next speech. That way their audience couldn’t forget about the importance of public speaking and instead spend their time texting and tweeting instead of listening to them. However, we do live in the 21st Century and so distractions are almost a way of life. What can we do as speakers to grab and hold on to our audience’s attention?

Expose Yourself

“If you can’t beat them, then join them.” We’ve all heard that phrase and when it comes to a distracted audience these words ring true. All too often you’ll hear a speaker start a speech by telling his or her audience to “silence and put away your phones”. Do you really think that everyone is going to do this?

A different way of going about this (and a great way to connect with your audience) is to expose yourself. At the start of your speech tell your audience that you understand their situation. Let them know that you know that they’ve got a choice: listen to you or stay on top of everything else that is happening in their lives. Let them know that you’re ok with them continuing to use their cell phones while you talk; however, caution them that you’re going to be covering things that just might change their lives – they might want to listen.

By doing this you will have admitted to your audience that you are in competition with their phones. They will feel more relaxed with you and won’t feel the need to sneak a look at their phones while you are talking

Ask For Participation

One of the best ways to stay on top of your audience’s distractions is to find a way to use it to your advantage. A good way to go about doing this is to ask your audience to participate in your speech with you.

There are a lot of different ways to go about doing this. You can ask them questions and have them answer you or you can have them talk amongst themselves. Either way, it’s hard to remain distracted when the speaker has you taking action – now you have to stay in the moment!

Become A Guide

One of the reasons that an audience can become distracted and slip away from you is because your speech reminds them of being in school. For whatever reason, your audience may push back when they start to view you at the teacher and themselves as sitting in yet another classroom.

A great way to get around this issue is to not play the role of the teacher who knows everything. Instead, play the role of a guide. Don’t worry about the phones and tablets that you see popping up in your audience. Instead, take them on a journey from the start of your speech to your final conclusions. The ones who want to hear what you have to say will come along and anyone else won’t be a bother.

What All Of This Means For You

The next time that you give a speech you need to realize that your audience has other options instead of listening to what you have to say. It’s going to be your job as the speaker to share the benefits of public speaking with them by both grabbing and holding on to their attention.

Three great ways to go about doing this include starting your speech off by sharing yourself with your audience. Admit that you are competing with their mobile phones and tell them why they should be listening to you. Don’t allow your audience to sit quietly in their seats. Ask for their participation – ask questions during your speech. Finally, instead of being the person who knows everything, position yourself as a guide who will be revealing secrets to your audience.

There are some very nice mobile phones out there that can do amazing things. That’s who you are going to be competing with the next time you give a speech. Use the three tips that we’ve covered and you’ll be able to hold on to your audience’s attention the next time you give a speech.

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How often do you think that you should ask for your audience’s participation during a 30 minute presentation?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
 
Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

All too often when we are starting out a speech we’ll ask our audience to put away their cell phones so that they can pay attention to us. We believe in the importance of public speaking and so we don’t want our audience to be distracted by Facebook and Twitter, we want them to be hanging on our every word. However, is it possible that we’ve gotten this all wrong? Could Twitter actually be our friend? Is it possible to < a title="What is Twitter?" href=" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter ">use Twitter to make our next speech even better?

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