When I started out in speaking, I did it all wrong!
I did not know what to say or how to connect myself with the audience right from the beginning.
It got to a point during a talk that some members of the audience walked out of the room while some got busy with their phones.
Others began chatting with themselves, and I really felt embarrassed, saying to myself “Oh, it seems these people really do not like me.”
However, I eventually came to the realization that it was not their fault, but mine!
Having gained that insight, I began to research and investigate what to do differently.
What I learned has since helped me evolve into a competent speaker, able to inspire and mobilize audiences to take action along the lines I advocate.
Those are the things I now want to recommend to you.
Now, when you go on stage to speak to an audience, do not begin by introducing yourself saying, for example:
“My name is Efe and I am happy to speak to you today about XYZ.”
You don’t want to say that.
Instead you want to say something that makes an instant impression on the audience, commanding their attention and captivating their interest.
In other words, something that will get their attention – that will get them thinking. You also want it to be something that will get them to participate with you during your presentation.
Like for me, there are quite a number of things I do.
So let’s move on…
For example I ask a question – right from the beginning, to get them thinking. If for example I’m speaking to business owners, I ask them questions that relate to their needs, desires, goals, challenges, frustrations, etc.
For example I could ask the audience:
“Who here would like to achieve all their financial goals -raise up your hands?”
Everybody tends to raise up their hands – for obvious reasons.
Or something you could do again is look for something to complement the audience members for. Alternatively, look for someone who has introduced you, and think up something to complement him/her for.
For example when I’m invited on stage, I look for something to complement my introducer about, and I invite the audience members to join me in complementing him/her.
To illustrate, let’s say my introducer’s name is John.
When I’m invited to the stage I’ll then say:
“Thank you John. Let’s give a round of applause to John for putting together this wonderful event.”
So everyone joins in to applaud John.
After that I look for something to say that is meaningful and useful to the audience members, so that by the time I’m done, they are eager to connect further with me. In the process, I often end up winning new clients right from the venues of my speaking events.
So when next you want to give a talk, look for something to say, ask a question or look for something to complement your introducer or audience members about – and hook them!
Have a great time and I wish you speaking success.