Public Speaking Tips: How to Command an Audience
Whether your heart beats with excitement or tremors with trepidation as you move toward the podium, it must be recognized that public speakers who command an audience share the same characteristics.
Their personalities and messages can be as different as colors in a crayon box, but some speakers can enrapture us. We all have experienced being captivated by a particular speaker, and we also have experienced a speaker who reeked of disinterest.
The same is true of you.
You got this.
You can command attention simply by being you.
That’s the start.
Do not try to be the enthralling version of someone else, but be boldly you. Audiences have a keen sense of manufactured performance and greatly prefer authentic presence. It may take a while to know your voice and tone, your ability and your risk-taking willingness, but be you for the learning curve and the success.
Next, go Greek.
In Ancient Greece a formula was used, not to box in the teachers, philosophers, and orators, but rather to create great effectiveness for the speaker and to give benchmarks for the audience to hang their movement through the speech on.
These characteristics of your time by the podium will set you in company with those who command attention:
1. Establish Rapport
Get your credibility on stage with you. It may happen in part during your introduction, but own it. Own who you are, what you have done, and why you have authority for what you’re talking about. Do this with body language and with words. Stand tall, speak clearly, look people in the eyes and tell them of your studies, skills, or situational fit to that community. Earn their trust and then keep it so the next time you need to speak, you can reference the very moment you are in.
2. State Your Case
Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared. Have your content ready, even if there is wiggle room in the delivery style. Tell your story, your facts, your message with an authoritative tone and humble plan of action. Provide room for flexibility, but keep your goal, your case simple to dissect. Intentionally have silence so that your words can be repeated in their minds with their inner voice. The words you say matter, but they grow roots if you allow the audience to partner with you in the hearing of it. You need to hear yourself, you need to repeat yourself, and you need to be fully there engaged in your own message. State your case strong.
3. Move Their Emotions
Go after the hearts of your audience! They came with a purpose to listen, to grow, to be challenged, and to be moved. Enjoy your audience, from the first moment. Let them settle into their groove, let your opening sentence become a hook and a part of your closer, your metaphor, your storytelling. Arrest their attention with analogies, demonstrations, personal tales, and relevant examples.
Laugh with them, feel with them.
No matter the content, give space for emotion, for them to inhale and exhale with their hearts. It is human nature to crave connection. Facts and messages resonate when emotion is easily identifiable in the speaker and activated within the listener. We connect best when quality and care intersect; your message can be this.
Show your passion, uncover theirs, and deliver your credibility, your words.Let them swim in the emotion of it all.
Practice and give yourself grace. Set the bar high for yourself and chase after it. Command an audience.
And in case you forget... you got this.
Written by Nasreen Fynewever
This blog post is from the Author's perspective and doesn't speak for brightpeak financial. Contact brightpeak if you want to know more about brightpeak products, and keep in mind that they are not available in all states and there are some limitations (some exclusions and restrictions may apply).