How does a great speaker or presenter is able to wow an audience?
He or she looks at the audience.
But I have jitters, how do i do that?
Simple. Speaking and looking (having eye contact) at the the audience is like reading a book. When you are reading a book, you are reading a book, unless you are skimming it, you will read line by line and paragraphs by paragraphs. Which means, you are focusing in that very moment. Only after you have finished reading that sentence or paragraph, your eyes then moves to the next one.
Same here for public speaking. We do agree that in general, speaking with one person has a high certainty of confidence as compared to speaking to a crowd. Using the metaphor of reading a book, when you are speaking to an audience, identify an audience that you would like to speak to. Focus to that audience as if you are speaking one-to-one with that person. After you have finished your line (or paragraph), move on to another audience member.
In this case, your mind will tell you that you are 'speaking' to just one person, and that will make you feel comfortable. At the same time, the audience will feel appreciated because you are speaking and looking at them than just 'roll your eyes across the room'.
Founder, The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
Author, The Stage Fright Antidote!
One of the ways to engage the audience in your speaking event/ meeting is through activities. And there is none other than playing games.
In the recent wedding event which The Speaking Factory hosted, we played the "Passing Game". It was fun and everyone laughed their hearts out.
To play this game, what you need is:
1) A small item that can be passed around easily (eg a small ball)
2) Have enough quantities. If you have 5 sub-groups, just ensure that each sub-group has 1 item.
3) Music - preferably with faster beats
How to Play:
1) Announce that once the music is played, the item needs to be passed around within the group. When the music stops, whoever is holding on to the item would need to come the stage to do "something" (which you will keep a secret)
2) Play the music
3) Get the item passed around within the sub-groups
At this time, anxiety increases because your audience will try to "avoid" holding on to the item and quickly pass it to the next person.
4) Abruptly stop the music
At this time, the crowd will go wild; for whatever reasons. You can call up those people to the stage to do the "something" which you will announce.
If you are playing this game whether in a meeting setting, or at a wedding event, remember to reward the participants with small tokens (eg chocolate bars).
Give it a try and share your experiences!
The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
The Power of Moments!
The topic on the banner gets you interested, and you signed up to attend the seminar.
When the speaker starts speaking, you notice that the speaker tends to use a lot of “errs, aahs, erms” etc. There are also occasions where the speaker tends to repeat words or phrases in the midst of his or her speeches; for example “you know”, “actually” etc.
For example, “Today’s topic is about..err…you know….the recent debate about …err..you know……”. You get distracted and have this urge of just leaving the seminar!
This – “errs, uhhms, aahs” – are called time-fillers. Time fillers are irritating and distracting to the audience. Worse, it also diminishes the authority of the speaker.
What if you are a first-time presenter and are guilty of doing the same thing? What is the solution for this?
The answer: Using MOMENTS!
Moments (or pauses) are punctuation of speeches. Actors on stage use moments to control the tempo of the play, or to bring suspense in the dialogue.
Similarly, public speakers can use moments to eliminate time fillers, gives time to audience to digest the information that is being conveyed, and at the same time, providing suspense for audience to wanting more.There are two types of moments that you need to master that can bring your presentations to the next level:
This is used to demonstrate a speaker’s confidence and authority.
If you are feeling “the butterflies in the stomach”, this method could help to develop your confidence. What you can do is, the very moment you take the stage, pause for 5-7 seconds, look at the audience, smile and before starting your first words. You will capture the audience attention almost instantly.
This is used to capture the audience attention and provide suspense throughout your speeches.
For example, you can say along these lines: “What I am going to share with you is …<pause> …” or “Yesterday, when I was at the Mall, there was a …<pause>… “ before you continue your presentation.
At this juncture, you will get the audience attention as they are anxious to wait for the next word that you are going to say.
The next time when you have the opportunity to take the stage, try these methods.
The Speaking Factory Pte Ltd
From the Editor
The Speaking Factory is founded by Hazriq Idrus, Asia's Trusted Workplace Creativity, Creative Leadership and Public Speaking Strategist, with a mission to help organisations enhance people potential and organisational performance. Hazriq is the author of The Stage Fright Antidote and co-authored eight other books.
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