As a professional speaker, everything you do the minute you walk into the room sets the tone for your message. Without even speaking one word, you can determine just how many people you will reach because their engagement with your message depends on you; not on them. You can have a great topic and great presentation skills, but if you are not able to communicate the passion you have about your topic, none of it really matters.
Expect the Best
Go before your audience expecting to make an impact. People aren’t interested in what you know. They want your information for themselves and passion is the “grease” that lubricates that passage of information.
- Do you expect your audience to receive what you have to say?
- Do you communicate that you’re excited to be there and you’re excited that they are there as well?
Be Mindful of Your Audience
Be mindful of the needs of your audience. As the speaker, you can easily get caught in your message because you know it’s what your audience needs. The problem with that train of thought is that it leaves one key person out of the equation — your audience member. Prepare yourself beforehand to figure out what your audience may want to know or needs to know and then deliver that message.
Change things up for maximum impact. There are going to be times when you can’t stay stuck to your outline. Learn to improvise and adjust to the needs of your audience. Find ways to engage them as you proceed throughout your message.
Do you remember in school that one teacher you had that you could never seem to connect with? Students were falling asleep in class and the teacher still plodded on with his or her message. How effective was that?
Change your presentation and tailor it to engage your audience no matter where they might be. Don’t stay stuck in a routine.
It’s All About Relationships
Relate to your audience. Relating to your audience goes beyond just speaking to them. It encompasses everything from the greeting you give, the way you dress and the tone of your voice when you address them. Part of relating to your audience means knowing who they are and what appeals to them. You’ll have to research beforehand who your audience members are. If you do this, you’ll be positioning yourself to be more relate-able to them.
Passion is the key that opens their hearts and minds to receive what you have to say. If you’re passionate about your topic, that will come across in your speech. Conversely, if you lack passion about your topic, that too will also come across.
Do you really believe in what you’re talking about? Do you see the value that you and your message have to offer your audience? When you practice your speech, do you motivate yourself?
Just about every professional speaker starts off practicing by speaking in front of a mirror. Try doing that and take a good look at what you see. You are the key to a successful delivery of your message. If you want to see results, understand that you set the tone in your meeting and it’s up to you to maintain control of that tone.