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Public Speaking (Engaging your audience)

Public speaking is scary.  It isn't the toughest fear or even the most common, but it can stop you from sharing your views and achieving goals. These tips are intended help you manage the challenge of public speaking.


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Excerpt from Public Speaking

Public Speaking

Engaging Your Audience


Like all communications, before you deliver your message, you need to know why the audience should care. If you don’t know why they are there, then they won’t be able to figure it out either. If they can’t figure it out then the entire time you’re speaking, they are going to be wondering when you’re going to stop. That’s no fun for anyone.


If you’ve ever been entranced by a message that you would normally find tedious, ask yourself why. Years ago millions of viewers would tune into Seinfeld episodes week after week and then talk about it at work, yet it was a show about nothing. Jerry Seinfeld joked about the fact that the show had no real premise and the characters weren’t particularly likeable, yet it was a complete success. The trick was the delivery. It was funny, preposterous and sometimes shocking. It always got your attention. Be intentional when you speak, care about what you are saying and think about what your audience needs and you will engage your audience.


Be Honest

Being honest is also critical to success. When you lie or misrepresent the facts, you send clues. Unless you’re a professional liar or award-winning actor your body will give you away. Your speech may slow, and have more pauses. Your face may flush; you may have a nervous reaction or stutter. Even if your audience isn’t filled with police detectives, your manner will make the audience uncomfortable. What's more, lying about one element of your presentation can undermine your entire presentation should people realize what youíve done. Lying also discredits you and your brand.


Be Helpful & Responsive

If your audience has questions, help them to ask; don't put them on the spot or ridicule them if the answer seems obvious.  Let them ask questions in the middle of your presentation, that’s how engagement works.

  • Always be polite.

  • Avoid racy language or any comments that are derogatory to a specific group.

  • A sense of humour is great since it will help you and your audience to relax, but it shouldn’t come at someone else's expense.

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