I’ve given you advice on how to be a better listener but now it’s your turn to talk. When it’s your turn at the podium, how can you be sure that you have your audience’s attention? If you notice people starting to lose focus, you may have trouble getting their attention back. Here are five ways you can make sure that your audience remains your audience.
Relax: If you’re stiff and nervous, you’re not going to hold anyone’s attention. It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking to 3 people or to 300 people, if you want to be heard, you need to calm down and release your tension.
Don’t get lost: You’re in the car, you’re in an area that you’re not familiar with, and you get lost. This is normal. If you talk a lot, you may find yourself droning on and on and may eventually get lost in your own words. This should not be normal. If you’re lost, then you’ve definitely lost your audience. They’re probably looking at their phones.
Keep it short and sweet: There is a reason you’re talking right now. Get to that reason. Don’t beat around the bush. Say what you have to say, and be done. If you keep it concise, you’ll keep the attention on you.
Be clear: Just because you want to keep it short and sweet doesn’t mean you should say the things you want to say as fast as you possibly can. Only use the words that are needed to convey your message, and speak slowly and clearly. If you talk too fast, your audience will miss words and/or phrases and they won’t be able to catch up with you.
Enjoy yourself: Unless you’re having to deliver bad news you should be enjoying yourself. If you’re speaking about current events, or something your passionate about, let it be known that you’re interested in the words you’re saying. If you’re interested, your audience just might be too.