What a feeling afterwards when you have delivered a talk, presentation, speech to an audience? After all your preparation planning and practice, the day finally came and you nailed it. You stand there taking the applause, knowing you did the best you could, delivered and said everything in order and the way it should have been said. Your audience are smiling up at you, appreciating everything you have told them. They leave you with new knowledge, information and contentment. You have either entertained them, shared some useful / helpful information with them or advised / directed them in some way or indeed maybe all three. How do you ensure that this great feeling afterwards is always guaranteed before you deliver your speech?
- Know your audience
- Meet their preferred learning styles
- Be center-stage
- Be authentic and professional
Know your audience Why are your audience coming to see and hear you? What is in it for them? What are they going to learn? All pertinent questions that will help you tailor your talk around them. You do not try to please every member of the audience, but you try to please most of them. There will be always one, two or more people who simply do not want to be there. Knowing your audience is a key consideration for any speaker, you are doing it for them, nobody else. Meet their preferred learning styles Everybody has their own preferred way of learning. Some learn the best by watching, some by listening, some by doing and some by thinking. There can also be learners that have a mixture of the two styles what we call learning styles. As a presenter / speaker, you should try (if possible) to have a combination of speaking mediums i.e. PP slides, Prezi, Flipchart, Handouts, Activities. But, it is all dependent on the speech content, speaking occasion, event, environment and the audience. Be center-stage Avoid hiding behind lecterns, podiums, tables, chairs, flipcharts. If using PP slides, can you be center stage and have the PP Projector to the left or right of you? Many speakers (I\’m sure you have noticed), try to stand behind something or avoid facing the audience in full view for fear of being heckled, being hit by a flying object or fear of been seen! Use the mentality of \’This is me, this is who I am\’. Be authentic and professional Be authentic and professional. Yes, do copy or do what your role model speaker / presenter does, but at the end of the day, be yourself. If the audience for one minute, sees or think you are trying to be somebody else, they could take a dislike to you and might just not believe you. As you deliver your speech, tell and share and your stories, speak from the heart the way you would normally in front of a group of friends, but being aware of the audience (who by the way are your old friends!) Smile Finally, don\’t forget to smile. Smiling introduces and ensures rapport, connectivity and sincerity between you and your audience. Let them see the real, optimistic, enthusiastic and inspiring you. Smile at the start, during and at the end of your speech…