I’ve been a speaker for as far back as I can remember.
This sounds like a bit of a mad statement to make but it is true. I was a child entertainer and a teenage actor and now I’m a professional speaker.
The mad bit is ‘so was everyone’. Most people don’t realise that their entire lives have been about communication (or lack of it). From indicating when they are hungry, cold or bored to making friends, getting a job and falling in love.
Unless you are a trained communicator (sales person, broadcaster or trainer etc) these opportunities to speak may be few and far between and when they do arise, you ‘just do it’ and hope for the best.
I’ve had a bit of experience in this. take a look…
Well here are 7 Surefire Tips to getting a better result when talkng to anyone from a big audience in a conference to a guy down the pub.
1) Work out who your audience is.
It may seem obvious at forst but when you dig a little deeper, there are so many subtle answers to be found. Demographics are everything. You wouldn’t tell a load of dirty jokes that would suit a roomful of sailors on shore leave to gathein of the women’s institute. Appearances can be decieving too, so always do a little research by chatting to the organiser and cross-referencing their suggestions by talking to members of your audience. It isn’t cheating and people love to talk about themselves.
2) Find out what your audience wants.
Again, it may seem too obvious to be true but asking what an audience wants to hear will save you 70% of the guesswork and guarantee you a much higher chance of getting their continued attention, support and applause. Once you find out, GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANT.
3) Be honest.
Audiences are not monsters, they are groups of real individuals who may already have pre-prepared high or low expectations about you. Be honest and open rather than slick and polished and they will appreciate that. Even use the statement ‘I am just the same as you’ to reinforce that link. They will drop their guard and warm to your openness.
4) Value them.
It doesn’t matter whether you are talking to a cleaner or a CEO, each person appreciates the fact that you care about them – AND THEY CAN TELL! So look them in the eye (even if there is a large audience, keep making eye contact) and let them know how much their continued attention means.
5) Value their time.
There can be a tendancy to waffle when onstage. It can be due to liking the sound of your own voice too much, thinking that you have to tell them everything or even being so nervous that you keep things moving as fast as possible so they can’t see the fear in your eyes. Whatever the reason, everyone has somewhere else they could also be, and more than often would rather be too. Feel the energy of the room and monitor the levels throughout your speech. When you say ‘One last thing…’ make sure you mean it.
6) Animate yourself.
Whatever your style of speaking, whether you are the queen of stand-up comedy or the king of sermons, remember that on TV and films a new edited shot occurs at least every 4 seconds. This means that the director understands that even though there is a captive audience of viewers, they need to be constantly stimulated subconsciously as well as consciously, otherwise their minds wander to thoughts of eating, shopping or leaving. Your own audience is the same. Keep unpredictable through your movement, voice control and materials so they know missing any part of your message will leave a gap forever.
7) Have fun.
I have never in over 30 years of entertainment met an audience that didn’t want to have fun – at some level. I am not advocating becoming the joker at a funeral but if you do your job right, the audience will get its emotional cues from you. The slightest smile will have them doing the same once you have them in rapport and trusting you to take them safely across the road. Be confident without arrogance and respect every different member of the room even when you might disagree with them. In an hours time you will be doing something else, somewhere else probably with someone else so just enjoy it for what it is and let them do so too.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this and found some useful stuff there too.
For more of the same and some awesome tips on using it all for business keep reading this blog.
I suggest starting with this one… http://www.davecrane.tv/public-speaking-how-to-add-30-more-earnings-for-life/
Have a great day.
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