Speaking in front of an audience can be intimidating. The thought of holding a crowd’s attention for 45 minutes to an hour can leave some potential public speakers in a state of fear. But, a bit of stage fright is entirely normal. However, public speaking can be the perfect channel for you to expand your industry network, sell yourself to potential business partners, and attract ideal clients as an expert catering and event professional.
Not every public speaker is born with skills ready to wow a crowd at the drop of a hat — becoming an effective speaker takes the practice of techniques that will capture your audience and keep them captivated. Fortunately, practice makes perfect!
Here are five techniques to recharge your speaking approach and draw in your audience.
Start With Your Audience in Mind
When it comes to effective speaking, it’s vital to put your audience’s needs first. Your speech or presentation needs to be planned in advance, so your topic is tailored towards the specific audience. Your message must be clear and include value-driven content that will leave your attendees wowed by what you have to say and offer. One of the best ways to do this is to research and adjust your messaging to the setting and crowd you plan to speak to. Anecdotes are a great way to mix things up and create a connection with your audience.
Clarify the Problem
Start with the problem, not your bio! Yes, you should still introduce yourself, but keep it short and simple. Then, present the problem your audience is facing and needs your help to fix. A short story about your experience or that of an anonymous client works wonders.
The key is to be relatable, reliable, and entertaining. Starting with the problem draws your listener in to hear more of what you have to say. As the speaker, you are in control of the audience, and coming from a place of knowledge and service positions you as a leader that is trustworthy and capable of sharing nuggets of wisdom. They will trust that you will leave them with more tools than what they came in with.
Entertain to Keep Attention
One surefire way to captivate and keep an audience’s attention while speaking is to entertain the crowd. No one appreciates a dull or lackluster speaker. Your points are valuable, but they won’t be memorable if they don’t keep people’s attention. Entertaining an audience can be done through effective storytelling to build a human connection. If you feel you have no relevant stories to share, videos or crowd icebreakers can have the same effect.
The goal is to grab the attention at the beginning of your talk and retain it throughout. Keep in mind that tone of voice matters, too. Modulate your voice to fit various segments of your presentation. Monotone voices will bore an audience, but if you sound interested in what you’re saying, your audience will be with you.
Give What is Needed and Nothing More
Don’t overload your listeners with points and stories they don’t need. Time is important and can’t be returned. Make what you have to say worth their time by sharing three main takeaways that are easy to remember, applicable in their own lives and businesses, and add to the meat of the message.
There is nothing worse than a presentation that leaves an audience with more than they can chew. Don’t leave your listeners with huge chunks of information to dissect, but offer what is needed and make it simple to understand.
Follow-up with a Strong CTA
Calls-to-action are not just for emails and social media posts. CTAs are one of the most effective ways to communicate to an audience that you believe in what you’re sharing and you want to help them be successful with the information you’ve given.
This method is also helpful for building your email list and great for promotional purposes and networking with ideal clients.
When ending a presentation, this is an excellent time to remind your audience who you are. Use this time to showcase your emails, social media links, website, and more.
Capturing an audience is an experience. It takes courage, skill, and technique that isn’t difficult to learn. You can use these techniques to wow a crowd and share invaluable information. Remember that your audience wants to hear what you have to say — make it worth their time!