My last blog brought you into my thought process of why it was important to me to be one of the contributors to the Time to Play book, What I know now that I wish I knew then. Let me just say that my excitement about this book brought me an opportunity to be in a second book. That book called, Heart of Toastmaster, allowed me to tell my story in yet another book that was very exciting to me, but what is the lesson we learned?
It is all about your audience. If you remember this, then you will never give a terrible speech. Maybe a not so good one, but staying focused on the people who you are speaking to will constantly keep you in tune with them.
Here is one issue and ideas
The audience is not really paying attention.
Try asking a question:
No, don’t ask them to pay attention, ask them a thought provoking question about them. Does this question sound familiar? Did you ever get so excited about something that you wanted to tell the world? I hope so; it was how I started this. Did it get your attention? If you are talking about goal setting ask them how excited they were when then, decided on or achieved their goal. If you are giving a technical speech you may want to ask them to think about different applications of your topic. Any decent question that gets their attention will bring them back to you.
Use the stage:
Move my friend, move. Nothing is worse than a speech that is read from the podium in a monotone voice. Heck, I can barely make it through a long winded answer, then a long speech. Move on each different point or topic to a different part of the stage. Take the speech with you if you must but give them something different than a statue to look at.
Make them laugh and they will love you, teach them something and they will remember you. Probably one of the most important keys to a successful speaking business is finding the balance between educating and entertaining. You can follow this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edutainment and learn abut the history, but think about the possibilities. They are endless. And no worries if you are not a comedian, you don’t need them rolling in the aisle with laughter, that wouldn’t be bad but required. If you can have them smile or even chuckle with you then congratulations, you have just separated yourself from most speakers,
Ok, so why did I tell you about the second book? Certainly because I am proud of it but also because of what I know now that I didn’t know then. My excitement from the first book kept me alert for other opportunities to participate in a book and look what happened. I found the opportunity, or maybe it was the opportunity that found me?
Either way you look at it, consider the reality of sharing your enthusiasm. Don’t you find that the more you talk about something the more opportunities come to you? Tell people that you are really focused on the audience when you speak and that you love seeing and reacting to their body language while you are presenting. People will then know you care about your audience and your speeches will improve and your speaking engagements will multiply.