What an exciting moment for you!
You’re now doing another speaking engagement.
You write your speech, rehearse, and then the big day arrives!
As you climb up the stage and compose your thoughts, you can’t wait ‘til they hear all the valuable information you dedicated a huge chunk of your time to.
You begin to present all your wonderful ideas with passion and that fire in your eyes and heart.
But something feels a bit…off?
A few audience members are on the verge of falling asleep and you see some softly chatting with their seatmates or are on their phones.
Others are bored and keep looking at the time wondering when all this will end.
Thankfully, I’ve never found myself in this situation but whenever it happens to someone I know, or someone I know who really wants to get their message out there but just can’t keep the audience engaged, it gets depressing.
Why wouldn’t it?
Whether you’re an aspiring speaker or experienced one, you wouldn’t want this to happen to anyone who’s contributing their awesome ideas out to the world.
But here’s the thing.
You CAN’T blame the audience.
“Oh if only they knew more about this and that, maybe they’d pay attention.”
“Eh, whatever. I’m the last speaker for the day, they’re probably tired.”
You come up with every excuse in the book on why they’re not engaging with you.
Do something for me, will you?
If you had your last speech documented, watch it.
Then you’ll see for yourself WHY people are getting bored.
You’ll see WHY people would choose to chat or look at their phones than listen to you.
If you can’t stand listening to yourself blabber, then you’ll see the real problem.
As speakers, we already know that we’re awesome, and have a great message to share.
Which is why some of us aren’t open to feedback anymore.
Thankfully, you’re NOT that kind of person!
The fact that you’re here at Today I’m Changing is enough evidence that you want to improve.
I understand that you’re not boring, and have a lot of interesting things to share.
But you have to learn how to not make a snoozefest out of your presentations if you want to make lasting impact and more speaking engagements in the future.
Keep your audience engaged by:
1. Talking to them like a human being.
The most ineffective speakers sound like robots who just keep spewing facts here and there.
Honestly, though. Nobody wants to listen to that.
Instead, study the facts and deliver it in a way where your audience can relate.
Successful leaders and speakers have a strong sense of empathy and that is the basis of their engagements with other people.
If people from your audience are college kids who are looking for some guidance on what to do after graduating, don’t just holler facts about the rates of unemployment.
Nobody talks to friends like that.
The days you give your talks isn’t judgement day, so relax.
Every person in your audience is composed of different individuals who are human and respond like one.
Tell them stories.
Inject humor, emotion and don’t be afraid to be yourself when presenting.
As long as it’s appropriate for the event and you’re not offending anybody, go for it.
Talking to them like a human being also entails being vulnerable.
Show them that you have faults, too. Just like them.
Some speakers keep their walls up, and in return never really speak to their audience.
This doesn’t mean revealing every insecurity and imperfection you have.
It simply means, don’t take yourself so seriously when up onstage.
2. Share the benefits they’ll gain after the talk.
“By the end of this, you will know the fundamentals of building your first online business without shelling out a huge amount of capital.”
You’re more inclined to listen to somebody when you know exactly what you’ll get out of it.
Look at the popular headlines people tend to click on.
“Lose ten pounds in two weeks with this exercise.”
“Get booked on your first speaking engagement after this course.”
“Be a Math wizard after enrolling here!”
Make sure to follow-through, though.
Don’t make stuff up or else you’ll lose your credibility.
Be sure that the benefits you’ll be saying are actually true.
3. Interact with them.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions, and make it all about them.
If your audience is interactive, there’s higher chances of you persuading them.
While writing your speech and you reach the part where you ask questions, prepare your responses to the different types of answers you might get.
4. Keep your body language and voice in check.
When someone is passionate, they tend to use their whole body to express themselves.
This is important especially if you’re speaking to a huge crowd and standing on a wide stage or platform.
Record yourself and see if your voice is monotone, or if you look too stiff.
Proper body language helps you relax and helps you feel like a natural speaker no matter how new or experienced you are with speaking.
I find myself cringing whenever I would hear someone speaking monotonously and just standing there with the mic in one hand.
As much as possible, request for wireless headset microphones so it’s easier to use your body and move around the platform or stage.
You might be the speaker, but the star of the show is the audience.
You’re there because you want to get your message to them.
It’s your responsibility not to bore them!
So go, practice, and get on that stage!
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