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How to Engage Your Audience during a Speaking Event

Posted by Jody Urquhart on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 @ 01:30 PM

inspirational speakerThe number of distractions that an audience faces during an event is limitless. A mobile phone alone can keep buzzing with email notifications and text messages to break one’s attention. Only a smart motivational speaker will still be able to hold the attention of his audience and get his point across.

By the time you finish reading this you will be able to decide on the kind of attention you want from your target audience. The first kind of attention is when the listener has to force himself to pay attention and the second is when he is so riveted with your words that he pays attention willingly.

All inspirational speakers must understand that when a listener pays attention, he or she is actually rewarding you with the most valuable thing in this world, their time.

Have a look at some sure shot methods to get them noticing you.

#1 Always Start with a Bang

The first 25 to 30 seconds will decide your fate with the listeners. Always start with a line or an instance that catches their attention right away. Have an opening line that forces the listeners to lend an ear and allow you to take them on a journey. They will jump in with suspense and curiosity.

#2 Make the Listeners the Target

Now that you have their attention, build your story around them. The ratio of listener to speaker will keep rising. Make their goals, dreams and anxieties the focus of your lecture. If you smoothen and tickle their core, half the battle is won. Most successful motivational speakers of our time have risen to popularity by playing with the doubt, uncertainty and fear of an individual. 

#3 Be Fully Sure of Your Facts and Figures

Don’t just dwell on slides and figures. Use props that they can relate to. Try not to make the lecture boring by using concepts that are boring or abstract. Storytelling is the key to holding the attention of your audience. That way they get the facts without feeling that they were hard facts. Create an image that will stay with them even after the lecture will be over. 

#4 Have a Slow and Steady Pace

It’s like building a skyscraper, go slow but firm. The information bits that you serve should be related to the previous ones and so on. Keep the discussions moving in order to maintain the interest. Make your presentation free flowing like the surge of a river, not slow and boring like a canal.

#5 Hit the Nail on the Head

If your build up is good the audience will grasp the target you are moving towards. They will want to reach the culmination of the journey with you to derive the most pleasure out of it. Hence, keep harping about one critical point throughout and they will leave the conference hall with it engraved in their heads.

 

#6 Invoke Some Emotions

Humor is an essential part of any motivational speech. It is useful in changing the dynamics of the room and it lightens up everybody’s brain. But it is important to remember that you are not a comedian, be natural and let the humor come out naturally and not forcefully. If you give a funny example from your life, the connection will get even stronger. Give positive examples with a twist of humor in them because nobody wants to hear sob stories.

 

#7 The Interaction Level should be High

If you want to judge the success of your motivational speech, measure it on the interaction level with the audience. It is easy to sell your story to an interactive audience than a passive one. Keep the interaction going on throughout and do not allow the motion to break at any time. Keep them engaged and remember talk with them and not to them.

 

#8 Keep it Short and Sweet

Your presentation should have clear headlines. The idea should be short and to the point. If you keep the basics clear, the idea will eventually be bought by the audience. It is very important to keep the length of the motivational speech short and precise. Be smart and stop the talking before the listening stops.

 

 Hope you enjoyed reading the article contributed by Jonathan Curran. He is author and director at PROMOTIVATE Speakers Agency. He represents and provides expert speakers on business, inspirational and motivational speakers and other wide ranging topics to companies and conferences worldwide.  You can get more updates on Google+ page.

Tags: motivational speaker, motivational speech, inspirational speakers

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