Although many people are afraid of public speaking they forget that the audience really wants you to succeed. When you are in front of an audience speaking, I think most people focus on themselves rather than being authentic and real. These negative approaches to speeches al starts with miss guided thinking. Usually we start this negative cycle by “make stuff up” about how this audience does not look friendly or that they are not going to be non-responsive to your ideas, and many other self-sabotaging thoughts. Many speakers take on a new persona in order to manage their fears and stay away from connecting with the audience in any engaging or meaningful way. These tricks seldom work and yet they are repeated time and time again producing the same results–a stiff, unnatural self and boring speech.
Instead of this approach, I believe that a more positive way to introduce yourself to an audience is to show them that you are an energetic person who values their time and that you are appreciative their interest in your topic. In addition, I have discovered over the years of speech coaching and public speaking, there are some other specific ways to emotionally connect with the audience that will resonate and be perceived favorably.
1.. Exude positive energy and friendly and happy demeanor. You need to show them right off the “get-go” that you are a happy person and an approachable person, full of life. No one wants to listen to a stressed, moody or distant speaker. As you begin smile and greet them with enthusiasm, and a calm but firm voice, make sure to go up to a higher pitch as you get to a key point and speak a bit louder, happy is full of volume. A positive first impression is critical to your success
2.. Always treat the audience with respect and consideration. Have check-points in your speech to teat that they are with you and are still engaged with your message. You need to make the audience realize that you are thankful to be here in a position to speak, that you appreciate their time and energy. To give that impression, you should slow your pace down a bit and start by asking a survey type question. They need to see that you care about them before they care about what you have to say. In the beginning of the speech take your time to set the right tone by not rushing through you key opening remarks. Demonstrate that you just don’t want to rush through this speech but that you want to enjoy and engage them in what they want to learn about the topic not just what you want to say. So show them your passion and appreciation for the opportunity to share your ideas with them and that you want to hear from them and learn from them too.
Come across in this manner and you will hear the applause and appreciation from the audience. Enjoy and let me know how these techniques worked out for you and let me hear from you about other techniques that have worked for you in the past. Coach Dr. Mark
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