Speaking to an audience can be terrifying for some, but for others, the feeling of truly connecting with people who share your passions and those who need the information you can deliver is almost euphoric. Below, you will find five tips to engaging with your audience so that when you speak, you speak with impact, fervor, and passion.
#1 – Start Your Talk Off with an Interesting Story
Numerous surveys and studies have shown that people have very short attention spans and pay attention to speakers for about eight minutes before they start to daydream or otherwise stop paying attention. Regardless, you can captivate your audience and hold its attention for much longer if you start your talk off with an impactful story. You might try surprising your audience with something they don’t expect or telling them a heartwarming personal story as long as it relates to the message you are delivering.
#2 – Make a Promise (and Keep It)
Next, make sure that your audience is aware of exactly why they are about to sit and listen to you talk. What is it that your speech or talk is going to deliver? What can your audience take away from what you are about to say, and how can they put it to use in their daily lives? “When you leave here today, you will be prepared to increase your revenue by as much as 50%” is a great example of a clear and concise promise that your audience can focus on throughout your presentation.
#3 – Enunciate and Be Concise
Your words can be some of the most powerful tools you have in your arsenal, but that’s only true if your audience can understand them. Make certain that you carefully enunciate your words, that you use terminology your audience is sure to understand, and that you avoid going off-topic and rambling. These things are surefire ways to lose your audience from the start, so keep them in mind.
#4 – Get Your Audience to Interact with You
When you’re speaking to a group and you want your words to truly mean something to them, the worst thing you can do is lecture them. Some ideas include having short question and answer sessions during the event, singling out members of the audience to give you information, such as a name or state of residence, and even organizing group discussions that make your entire talk interactive from start to finish.
#5 – Use Calls to Action
If you were writing a letter to persuade someone to give you a million dollars, your goal would be to convince that person of the reasons why you deserve to have that money and what you plan to do with it. When you deliver information during a talk or speech, you need to think along those same lines. Use calls to action to give your audience a reason to act on what you say.
Engaging with your audience is critical to ensuring that you can deliver your message accurately and truly make a difference in the lives of those listening to you. These five tips will help you do just that more powerfully, with impact, and with passion that your audience will feel.