Engage Your Audience With These 4 Amazing Tricks

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Feeling like you cannot truly reach your audience? Use these simple, but effective tricks and see the results for yourself!

What can you do if Mother Nature did not bless you with those engaging speaking skills others have been so lucky to get?

My answer? You work for them.

The very first step in becoming an engaging speaker is to get rid of what psychologists call public speaking anxiety. If you can’t even stand the thought of being in the center of everyone’s attention, not to mention discussing different topics and generating ideas, then this is what you should focus on, first.

How to get rid of this disturbing issue? Here are a few ideas!

#1 Organize

Organizing all your materials and thoughts will provide a much clearer structure for the ideas you are about to transmit to your audience. On the plus side, you will have a much more relaxed and calm attitude, which is what you aim for, right?

#2 Practice

It’s the keyword for this particular issue. Create a draft of your speech and then practice as much as you can. Don’t memorize it and focus on repeating it word by word. It will only create unnecessary pressure on you and make the whole speech unnatural.

#3 Move Over Fear

It’s the main cause of public speaking anxiety and it has terrible effects on a person. Fear of being laughed at or fear of rejection. It can make you feel nauseous up until the point you start experiencing a panic attack.

Before you give in to it, remember one thing: those people are there to listen to you for a reason. Don’t underestimate yourself!

#4 Patterns & Breathing

By focusing on your breathing, as well as on the resonance of your voice, you will manage to identify a pattern in your speech.
When you establish this pattern, your public speaking experience will turn out to be a lot easier. Short sentences and a constant repetition of the key points, with pauses in between them, will also do the trick.

#5 Body Language

Given the fact that 55% of a conversation is body language, I would dare to say that this is quite an important part of your speech. Needless to say that you have to pay special attention to it. So, practice your speech in front of a mirror and watch out for:

  • Facial expressions
  • Body movements
  • Gestures
  • Having a friendly appearance

Engaging Your Audience

Assuming that you have managed to pass over your public speaking anxiety, here is what you should focus on next: keeping your audience engaged.

Not sure how to do it? No worries. Here are some useful tips you can use:

#1 Reach Out To People

Create a personal connection with your audience. Get closer to them by telling personal details of your life, so they can relate to your sayings. This way, both sides will feel closer to each other, which will have a great effect in pressure relief.

#2 Pause!

At the end of every key point in your speech, there should be a few seconds of silence from your part. Not only that you get to catch your breath, but your audience will also have the chance to take in and process your ideas much better. Plus, you can think about what you are going to say next. If you forget to pause because you’re too nervous, simply breathe. You’ll see how everything settles in place.

#3 Ask Specific Questions

The best way to make sure that your audience pays attention to what you are saying is to ask them questions related to your speech. These questions should be challenging enough for them to commence the thinking process, but at the same time they should also direct them into remembering their own experiences.

Once again, it’s all about your ability of making your audience relate to the ideas you are transmitting them.

#4 Pay Attention To Your Body Language

I am quite sure you’ve heard this one before. However, remembering some essential tips in this area, is always useful.

Every time you are going over an important idea in your speech, stay still! It’s one of the simplest pieces of advice you could get, but definitely the most effective. By standing still you are unconsciously transmitting to your audience the fact that you are 100% focused and sure on your words. Taking a step back, however, will suggest that you lack confidence in your sayings.

One more thing: always keep your hands where people can see them. Not in your pockets or behind your back. People tend to not trust those whose hands they cannot see.

The key in becoming an engaging speaker is also in your attitude. A fresh attitude will always attract people’s attention to you. Keep your speaking style fresh, as well as the information you are about to pass on. If you are looking for some more inspiration, check out what Julian Treasure, the chairman of The Sound Agency, has to say about this matter:

 

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Photo credit: Mustafa Khayat via Visualhunt / CC BY-ND

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