Here’s the thing – the audience is one of the key ingredients to the recipe for successful public speaking. You need people around to make it ‘public’, because if you speak just by yourself, how can you know if your speech is effective or not?
Even worse, if you spend no time in front of an audience, you will never know what works and what doesn’t. This is the feedback you can only get from a live audience. No matter how polished your presentation – until an audience hears it you will never know if it’s the right message delivered in the right way.
The Fear of Judgement
This can be the biggest fear for many people. Most nervousness and worry about public speaking stems from the fear of judgement – being shut out because someone doesn’t like you or what you have to say, and having people picture a version of you that isn’t particularly accurate.
Getting On With Your Audience
It’s all about the balance. You want present yourself as professional and knowledgeable – you’re the one leading the room.
But you can’t go over the top. You don’t want to be too separate from your audience. If you do, people will think you’re more interested in yourself or your product rather than sharing any value with the audience. Treat the audience as though you’re sharing the experience with them. You may know what you’re going to say, but they don’t. You need to keep it simple but also inspirational. Make it personal – tell stories which the audience will relate to – because their story is similar.
Not only will they remember the story, inspiration or wisdom you’ve got to say, but they’ll remember you too.
And remember – authenticity!! They say that there’s beauty in simplicity, and in this case it’s definitely true. When you keep the tone conversational, move your focus from one pair of eyes to the next, and keep your language simple (no one’s there for a lecture, and it means far more people will understand!) the audience will feel connected, and more responsive and comfortable.
Why is the Audience Important?
The more people who can be moved or motivated by your words, the more people will come to you after, because they are now more interested in your product or service.
You don’t want to waste your time, and even if your talk is great, if the audience doesn’t like you, you won’t get very far.
But don’t worry. Public speaking is like driving a car – anyone can do it with practise and knowing all the right steps!
So if you’d like to hear more tips on how to speak effectively, follow us on Strictly Come Speaking!
P. S – If you liked this blog and want to read more blogs surrounding female empowerment, you can find last week’s here: ‘Work Hard, Play Hard‘
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