How do you really connect with an audience. You can be articulate, polished, perfectly groomed, have the best stage-craft… and still not make that magical and all-important connection with your listeners.
Let’s face it, you want your audience to respond enthusiastically to your call-to-action. You want to persuade them to do something: to think or act differently.
I believe there are three must-have ingredients if you are to have a chance of making that strong connection:
1 – passion
2 – authenticity
3 – stories
Passion is the great persuader. If you are not excited about your message, or product, or service, then why on earth should the audience care? Sometimes we get so pre-occupied about not stumbling over our words, we become robotic and we slip into a passion-less monotone.
Which leads to the second important element – authenticity.
Audiences know when speakers are faking it. Be comfortable being who you are, not who you think you should be. A key to achieving that authenticity is to use our TalkitOut Technique.
The third element is story. Facts are important, but they don’t stick in our minds as long as stories do. Turn your facts and figures into stories that paint a picture or evoke an emotion for you audience.
Here’s another way of connecting to your audience that you might find a bit unconventional.
Focus, really focus, on your audience – not yourself. Our instinct, especially if we’re nervous, is to focus on ourselves.
- We focus on not being nervous.
- We focus on not messing-up.
- We focus on not looking or sounding dumb.
All of this is understandable. But what it does is put your attention on all the things you don’t want to happen instead of all the things you do want to happen.
So I tell my clients to really focus on the audience. Put your whole attention on them and their needs, not on you and your worries.
Halina St James takes the worry out of presentations with her Present Like a Pro video training course. It’s available now from the Podium Coaching online store, together with her popular TalkitOut: From Fears to Cheers e-book and workbook.