Engage Your Audience
Part 3 of a 10 Part Series
People from all areas of my life have asked me how to become a great public speaker. What they really mean is, how do I become a strong speaker that leaves the audience feeling connected to me and invested in what I’m saying?
The truth is, I’ve spent years trying to become a good speaker. Practice helps, and so does preparation. There are a few other things you can do, though, to jumpstart your success for speaking in public.
I’ve gathered my top 10 easy tips for becoming better at public speaking for this blog series, How To Be a Great Speaker. With each tip, I’ll explore in detail how to become a confident, effective and powerful speaker.
Your audience is waiting for you!
Tip 3: Engage Your Audience.
Whenever possible, get your audience involved. This doesn’t mean you need to interview various members of the audience or call on someone to shout to their answer, but what it can mean is asking a big picture question like, “Has anyone in this room ever felt they couldn’t accomplish something, but tried anyway?” Then—and this is key—give a long pause.
Even if no one yells out, you have gotten everyone’s attention and can continue to pull them in by saying, “Well, that is me today, so please bear with me while I’m up here.” Instantly, you’re allowing your audience to connect with you on a human level—something great public speakers are masterful at doing.
You can also have someone staged in the audience. This works like magic! Meet with a friend or co-worker ahead of time and ask them to answer a question for you a certain way. That way, you know someone will answer, you know what their answer will be, and it will give you a break on stage to look at notes or take a sip of water.
Utilizing opportunities to engage your audience will make your speech infinitely more powerful and memorable to your audience!