As speakers, we all know that in order to be successful, we need to find a way to create a connection with our audience. We have to be able to do this for every speech that we give. It may not be an easy thing for us to do. However, the good news is that there are many different ways for us to go about doing this. If we can find a way that works for us, then we’ll have a real chance to make a connection with our audience and get them to pay attention to our speech.
It’s All About Connections
Let’s face it, as a speaker you may have the greatest content in the world, but if you don’t connect with your audience, it can all go to waste. You can think of this like being on the phone and having something important to say, but there is static on the line and the other person can’t hear what you have to say. No matter what you have to say or how hard you try, your message won’t get through. What you need to do is to understand what is standing in the way of you connecting with an audience. You need to make small adjustments that will lead to deeper and greater connections. You need to change how you are giving your speeches.
Problem: The Audience Does Not Relate To The Speaker
If you really want to connect with your audience, then you are going to have to make them want to hear what you are saying. If a speaker talks about success after success after success, audience members may stop listening to him. They will start to think to themselves that of course these strategies work for him – he’s somehow special. These strategies would never work for me. If an audience decides that the speaker is too special, they tend to cast off his or her advice. Don’t let yourself become this type of speaker – make sure that your audience can relate to the content of your speech.
Problem: Your Audience Members Are Not Sold On Why They Should Listen To The Speaker
This is the kind of thing that you really wish could be taken care of before you take the stage. The biography, speech description and introduction that have been given to your audience should clearly show how the audience will benefit from your presentation. They should be excited before you even take the stage. If this doesn’t happen, then the burden will be on you to win them over as a part of your speech and that can be a very tricky thing to have to do.
Problem: Your Audience Members Are Not Sold On Why They Should Take The Next Step The Speaker Suggests
The reason that we give a speech is because we are trying to share our information with our audience. Our ultimate goal is to convince them to take some action after they hear us speak. If during your speech you do not sell the results that people can gain by following your advice (e.g., joy, happiness, recognition, money, saving time, reducing effort or doing more with less), they will not act on it and there will have been no reason for them to attend your speech.
Problem: Your Audience Is Given Too Many Steps To Take
Sure, your speech is filled with great ideas. You know exactly what you audience needs to do in order to solve the problems that they are currently facing. You are going to share with them the steps that they need to perform. However, “A confused mind says no” is an old saying. Giving your audience one exact next step to take helps you connect with your audience during and after your speech. If during your speech you don’t give several next steps, then you can use your entire speech to build the case for getting them to take that one step that you do want them to take. That’s a powerful and clear message and it works well.
Problem: Your Audience Does Not Feel Involved
As a speaker it is your job to draw your audience into your speech. Yes, you are the one who is on the stage doing the talking, but you want your audience to feel like they are right up there standing side-by-side with you fully involved in what you are saying. Remember the phrase “No involvement, no commitment”? When we give a speech this is true. Audiences buy into what they help create, so in speaking it pays to make them part of the speech that you are delivering. How can you make this happen? Simple: all you have to do is to ask questions. During your speech you can engage your audience members in quick activities. While you speak, take the time to listen to them. Find ways to involve them in your stories. When they occur jump on spontaneous moments. You need to find ways to get and keep your audience members involved.
Problem: Your Audience Does Not Feel That This Is The Only Time That You Have Given This Speech
Most of the time that we give a speech, it’s not the first time that we’ve given this speech. We may have practiced it with smaller groups or it may even be a speech that we have given many times over. In fact, the reason that you were asked to speak today may be because someone heard you give this very same speech. The problem is that if you are not careful, your audience won’t feel that it’s fresh. Instead, they feel like your speech is something you have rehashed time and time again. Ok, perhaps it is, but your audience shouldn’t get that impression from you. As a speaker, it’s important to find ways to make your speech fresh for you each time so it will be fresh for your audience. When you are delivering your speech try out at least one new line or story. In doing so, that new piece can make the entire speech fresh for you, and that helps keep it fresh for your audience.
Problem: You Do Not Match The Energy Of The Audience
How much energy we put into a speech when we deliver it is actually very important. If we have too little or even too much energy then we’re not going to be able to connect with our audience. It is possible for a speaker come out and be too energetic and loud for a laid back audience. Ask yourself – have you ever been that speaker? Energy is not about bouncing off the walls. Rather, it’s about matching your energy to the energy of your audience members, and then after doing that moving them to where you want them to be.
Problem: You Don’t Tease Your Audience Members Before Sharing Your Message
In order to connect with our audience, we have to make them want to hear what we are going to be telling them. What this means is that we need to get our audience to thirst for our message before we quench their thirst. If we don’t take the time to do this then they won’t value what you’re saying as much, and they won’t have enough curiosity to stay connected with you during your speech.
What All Of This Means For You
Every speech that you give is all about connection. While you are on the stage giving your speech, you really want your audience to connect with you. If they do this, then the message that you are trying to deliver to them will be accepted and you just might end up changing some lives. However, this connecting thing is not easy to do. If you are not careful, you might make some mistakes that could harm your ability to connect with your audience.
During your speech you are going to have to find ways to relate to your audience and make them think that you are one of them. You have to find ways to get your audience to believe in the message that you are delivering to them. Every speech has a next step and you have to convince your audience to take it. Do be careful and don’t overwhelm your audience with too many steps that they have to take. Find ways to involve your audience in the speech that you are giving. Don’t allow your audience to believe that you have giving the same speech many times before. Always match the energy of your audience in order to lead them to where you want them to go. Don’t reveal your information to your audience, instead tease them and slowly make it visible to them.
The great thing about connecting with an audience is that once we’ve done it, we can get them to hold on to us for our entire speech. If an audience stays with you during your speech, then you will be approached after your speech by excited people who want to learn even more about what you spoke on. Getting connected with your audience is not an easy thing to do, but it is well worth the effort that you put into it.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: How can a speaker tell if they are connecting with their 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 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
When we give a speech we want our audience to be hanging on our every word. We want them to be excited to come and hear us. We want them to rush the stage once we are done in order to hear what else we have to say. However, as we all know, this does not happen all the time. In fact, sometimes when we give a speech we simply don’t connect with our audience – they’ve missed the importance of public speaking. They don’t pay attention and nobody wants to talk with us once we are done. What do we need to do during our speech to create a speech that will resonate with our audience?