Do you know what’s the one thing in common between a writer and a good public speaker? They are both good at storytelling. Yet, this is just one of the key characteristics that helps public speakers keep their audience engaged. I have lined up six public speaking techniques for you that will not only make you an exceptional speaker but will also help your audience participate better.
- Interact with the Audience
It is important that every member of the audience feels as you are talking to them. In my experience, I think my audience connects with me better when I speak to them rather than at them. Interacting with audience members ensures that your audience feels acknowledged by you. It takes the speech and wraps it around the audience experience. If I think an audience isn't connecting the way I expect, I need to engage them in the presentation. Interaction also helps me get a pulse for what is going on for the group.
- Good Preparation
Ever heard the phrase “practice makes perfect,” that’s true. The practice is something that creates a distinction between a good and a great public speaker. Make sure you know your stuff by heart so that when you deliver, it doesn’t seem like you are reading. Sound natural and more human. I like to have 20 % of new content for any group. This relates to their specific pain and challenges. Because it's new I need to practice it more to make sure it's relatable.
When I first started public speaking I had many experiences where I wasn't prepared and I forgot what I was going to say, my speech would be disjointed and the audience would leave confused. Worse, when you aren't prepared, it shows in how you lack confidence.
Laughter is the best medicine, especially when it comes to engaging with other people. Audiences crave laughter to help reduce stress and stay engaged. I have gravitated over 22 years towards being a funny motivational speaker. I have a history of stand-up comedy, and I found it really helped in engaging with my audiences. Humor is the salt of any public speaking session and if you are good at it, it's the best way to quickly engage an audience and build momentum. Using humor in a speech helps to alleviate anxiety. Laughter captures people's attention, boosts their mood, reduces tension, helps them get along and much more.
- Good Expression and Enthusiasm
In my years of experience conducting sessions and workshops, one thing that I found common is that the audience feeds on your energy as a public speaker. What this means is that if you are not filled with energy and desire to make it a memorable experience for them, they will not resonate with you and the entire session will be extremely dry.
Some people believe that increasing their energy on stage will make them appear fake. I disagree. In terms of the energy you put out, the way you speak to one person is different than the way you speak to a group.
- Sound Relatable
As a female motivational speaker, people always come to attend a session with a certain level of expectation in their mind. They want to hear things they can relate to. I am a motivational women speaker and I believe you have to relate to women differently than other groups. As woman, we can relate to each others stories and experiences.
Always speak to the challenges your audiences face. Talk about what other people find important, not what you think is important
Once you start being more relatable to them, the audience will be more engaged and participate better.
- Move people towards action.
Professional writer and coach Alexandra Franzen follows the Feel, Know, Do approach to speaking. When writing a speech, map out how you want the audience feel, what they need to know and what they need to do. It's really important that we move an audience to do something differently.
So, there you have it. Six techniques that can help you connect with your audience and get better participation. Remember, a good public speaker needs to be eloquent and funny. If your audience needs flavors, then you give them an experience they remember for life.