The Secret To Connecting With Your Audience

Connecting with your audience can make your audience remember what you tell them
Connecting with your audience can make your audience remember what you tell them
Image Credit: Techiedog

Let’s face it – giving a speech is a lot of work. It’s a lot of work to prepare the speech and then it’s even more work to actually give it. If we are going to go to all of that effort, we really want to use the importance of public speaking to get our audience to remember what we’ve told them. However, all too often that does not happen. What’s missing here is that our audience won’t remember what we’ve told them if we don’t find a way to connect with them during our speech. How go about doing that is just one more thing that we have to get good at doing.

You Need To Show Up With A Big Idea

When you show up to give a speech, you will want to arrive with a big idea. You can let your expertise provide a context for the speech that you are going to be giving. It will help your audience to understand your big picture before you dive deeper into heart of your speech.

You are going to want to find a way that you can express your big idea in roughly three to five words. Keep in mind that your big idea can be applied to your personal experiences, your employment, or any topic that you have the ability to speak about with a great deal of passion. The most important point here is that if you can create a big idea for your next speech, then you will have come up with a way for your audience to remember the point of your speech. A big idea will allow you to focus your speech and will allow you to filter out any ideas that don’t relate to your topic.

Harness The Power Of A 5 Minute Module

How do you typically view a speech that you give? Do you see it as being one long 30, 60, 90 minute presentation? Or instead, do you see it as being made up of short modules of five minutes of content — a type of content module. Rather than delivering one long sequence of data, a string of shorter modules will help the audience digest your material and stay on track during your talk.

Working your ideas into strong five-minute modules is a good way to start a great presentation. Trying out bits and pieces of a performance is nothing new. Stand-up comedians use this process to refine their acts all the time. You can use a similar process to create a speech. Refine your content with these three steps: test-edit-test. Don’t just deliver a speech once. Instead, record every speech you deliver and listen to it. Observe when people react, perhaps by laughing. Extract those parts and try them again with a different audience. When different audiences react positively, you know you have good content.

But what if your material flops? It is important to remember that flexibility is the hallmark of all great presenters. Each module could be delivered independently, if needed, or as part of a longer presentation. Take your time and select the right parts of your speech for the audience you will address. After you have settled on your content, all you need is a great delivery.

Take The Time To Inspire Your Audience

More often than not, a speaker is asked to deliver a speech as a result of being seen as a subject-matter expert. However, great knowledge and content is often not enough. You need have the ability to inspire and entertain your audience while delivering great information. This will require that you deliver a plentiful supply of inspirational stories and anecdotes — and that they all relate back to your big idea. One way to find inspiring examples is through other people’s experiences. Whenever I find something inspiring I try to write it down as a story for a future talk.

To make an even deeper connection with your audience and to be viewed as a more authentic speaker, try to share inspirational stories from your own personal experiences. Look for ways to connect your inspirational story back to your big idea. Practice delivering your story quickly, and be sure to show how it links to your big idea.

What All Of This Means For You

The goal of any speech that we give is to find a way to connect with our audience. If we are able to do this, then we will be able to use the benefits of public speaking to make them remember what we have told them. This is not something that is easy to do. All too often audiences leave our speech and promptly start to forget what we have told them. What we need are ways to make our next speech unforgettable.

One way to make your next speech remembered is to show up with a big idea. You have to be able to briefly express your big idea. The big idea is what will allow your audience to remember your speech. You also have to view your next speech as not being one long continuous speech. Instead, view it as being a collection of short five minute topics that you can string together. When you create a speech that is made up of the separate modules, you can try out the modules individually in order to determine how they work with various audiences. Making your speech stick takes more than just great content. We have to find ways to inspire and entertain our audiences. Sharing our inspirational stories is a great way to make this happen.

Being remembered is the goal of every speech that we give. We know that our content is good, we just need to find ways to make what we are saying stick with our audiences. These suggestions are the ones that we can use to make sure that what we tell our audiences have an impact. Mastering these techniques will allow us to connect with our audiences.

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

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to present your big idea to your audience?

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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 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

So here’s a question for you: what is the most important part of your speech? Is the opening? The middle? Or the ending? We all know that we have to grab our audience’s attention right off the bat. We also know that we have to support our main points during the middle of the speech. However, what’s up with that conclusion? Just exactly what are we supposed to do with that?