A lot is said about connecting to your audience when you speak. But how exactly do you do that? For me, it’s all about speaking straight from the heart.
First, your message has to come from your own heart.
- Is it true to your values?
- Is it something you care deeply about?
- Is it something you will always defend? You must believe in your message; if you don’t – why should the audience?
Second, you need to help your audience connect to your truth. What will resonate with this particular audience? What will get them nodding and thinking ‘I’ve been there’. What are the shared or similar experiences? Growing up in poverty? Being an outsider? Struggling to get support for an initiative? Sleepless nights overcoming technical problems?
Stories are great tools for helping the audience connect their reality to your reality. And when you speak from the heart you fast-track that connection.
Don’t sugar-coat the tough bits of your message. Some speakers water-down their message for various reasons. They’re afraid the audience won’t like them if they speak about what they truly feel or believe. They may be afraid they will shock their audience. Or – the ultimate fear – they worry people will make fun of them.
These fears will melt away if you speak your truth, and speak from the heart. You’ll wonder why you never did it before. Your speech will ring true and you will connect to your audience.
Don’t expect to reach everyone every time. You won’t. But the ones you don’t reach, will respect you for telling your truth.