Public speakers are invited to motivate the audience to do better in whatever environment they’re currently in. The audience can be struggling with drug abuse, and it’s the speaker’s job to give the final push that makes them say “No” to drugs. The audience can be a group of graduates that have no idea what it’s like after graduation. They could be in a corporate setting where they need inspirational advice to turn their companies from near-bankruptcy to a flourishing empire.
But no matter how good the message, a public speaker fails if he cannot keep the audience engaged. To keep them interested, you need to do a bit of preparation.
Prepare to Look At Them
Eye contact is one of the most basic of the basics when it comes to public speaking, but this is also one of the most difficult things to maintain for new speakers. Most speakers look at their feet, the far side of the wall, or just stare at their notes while speaking. If you’re making the audience feel like you’re not even addressing them with your message, they won’t listen to you.
Watch Your Pace
Nervousness can show itself in your speaking speed. When nervous, you tend to speak really fast or really slow. You either blabber on and on or your sentences get oversaturated with fillers. Maintain a good pace. If you noticed, most good speakers have mastered the art of pausing. If you’re nervous, blurt out a few words and pause at a cliffhanger. This will keep your audience leaning in and waiting for you to finish what you’re saying.
Minimalist Visual Aids
If you’re employing a slide presentation, keep the written words at the minimum. You won’t want your audience to disregard you while they’re reading what’s on the slide. You also won’t want to say the same words that are also written on the slide. By presenting only visuals such as graphs and explaining them, you deliver your message more effectively.
In addition to hand gestures that you learn in public speaking clubs, add a little more body language in there. If you can take the mic out and walk around the stage, do it. If you’re telling a story as your example, act out the story a little bit. This will bring a little bit of humor and keep your audience’s eyes on you.
There is so much more that you can do to keep the audience engaged. Each speaker’s message is inspiring, but it’s the delivery that really sticks in the audience’s minds. Try to be entertaining as much as inspiring.
Source by Michael Folgers
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