So many speakers put all their attention on crafting a great speech when, if fact, a big part of being an awesome presenter is your ability to connect with your audience. Here are three keys I use every time I present to engage the audience.
1. Take in The Audience Before You Begin
When you first take the stage, before you begin speaking, take at least 5 seconds to focus on each member of the audience (if they are a small enough group). For larger groups, take a moment to slowly scan the room looking at individuals in each area. Smile at the people you are looking at. Consciously remind yourself that you are here to provide the audience value and serve them, send them some love energy from your heart and feel their interest and support before you begin speaking.
2. Keep Eye Contact
You have heard it said that you have to make eye contact—I am saying you go way beyond that. You keep eye contact. Everything you say is delivered in the eyes of someone in the audience. You do not look at the floor when you walk across the room or stage, you do not glance up to catch a thought, you do not keep talking if you look at your notes. You make sure every thing you say is said while you are looking someone in the eyes. This takes practice and it is what separates the captivating speakers from the good speakers.
3. Be Yourself, Only Better
Your physical energy: in your body and in your voice is a big part of your delivery and a big part of being captivating. Turn up the volume on your personal energy. Your energy has to fill the whole room. Vocally, you do this with extra enthusiasm or extra excitement in your voice when you are presenting. Always be yourself, and turn up the volume on who you are in front of an audience.
Apply these tips next time you present and you will find you are better received than before and the audience will be leaning forward in their seats to see what you come up with next.