Public speaking is an important part of most jobs. Whether it is a small sales presentation, a large corporate event, or a charity fundraiser, getting up in front of others to share ideas is a skill that everyone needs to learn.
Many people see public speaking as an obligatory task—just another method of sharing information—but it is much more than that. In order for the speech or presentation to be effective, it is vital that the speaker finds a meaningful way to connect to the audience. When the speaker and audience connect there is increased clarity and understanding about the message and the experience is more enjoyable for both parties.
While it may sound difficult in theory, connecting with the audience is not that difficult to achieve for a speaker that is acutely aware of the details of the event as well as the signals the audience is sending.
For one, the type of event will play the largest part in dictating the type of speech, whether it is a business event or for pleasure, formal or informal. For example, it would be okay (and probably advisable) to be a bit looser at a company picnic than it would be telling jokes at a stockholders meeting where the levity might not go over as well.
To really connect to the audience and be successful at sharing your message, it is important to be attentive to the response of the audience. If everyone is falling asleep, perhaps there is a different way that the information can be presented. If there are looks of confusion frequently passing between people, perhaps some of the information needs to be gone over again.
Being confident in the information that needs to shared and flexible in the manner that it is presented is the ideal situation for creating a genuine connection between the speaker and the audience.
Photo credit: Ambro