Keep reading for FREE
Public speaking can be pretty intimidating. For many people, it can feel like a highly challenging task and one that makes them feel pretty anxious, so they tend to avoid it. However, public speaking is an essential skill in many fields and will help you improve your career and move forward.
Speaking at conferences, giving presentations, and taking part in professional events will establish you as a knowledgeable professional and someone with in-demand skills. Here are some tips to engage any audience and succeed at your presentation or talk.
The first tip to hook an audience is to ask them questions to ponder. Start your speech by presenting them with an intriguing question. Tie this question to your presentation but don’t give the answer right away. When people expect you to answer a question they want to know more about, they will pay more attention.
Giving examples is very important. They help the information stick and also clarify what you are talking about. However, you should try to tailor your examples to the audience in front of you. Make them relatable: talk to teens about teen problems and to sci-fi geeks about sci-fi.
Focus your examples on the industry, if relevant, or on life experiences that will be relatable to most of your audience. If they feel that you understand them, they will pay more attention.
In the same way that you don’t always want to answer a question right away to build suspense, you don’t always want to give away the end of a story.
We are naturally wired to like stories and when we hear the beginning, we want to stay till the end. By tying in the middle or in the end of your speech, you can keep the audience more interested, hoping to hear what happened.
A common mistake is to avoid looking at or engaging with the audience. Instead, it’s useful to bring people in. Ask them to raise their hands, to answer questions, to do an exercise (even if it is just imagining something). Also, try to speak to everyone and look at the people in the back seats, in the middle, and in the front, so nobody feels bored or disconnected.
If you can, you can bring in volunteers or ask people from the audience to help you or to answer something for you, but a more direct engagement will not always be possible.
Even if you are presenting at a very serious conference, there is no need to take yourself too seriously. Add humor if it is appropriate, as that will help everyone, including you relax and enjoy the speech.
Humor is not always appropriate, of course, but in most cases, a small joke or a little bit of irony will help you.
If you come onto the podium as a person condemned to death, the audience is likely to feel your discomfort. It’s not a pleasant feeling. While you might be anxious as you take the stage, focus on the elements that you enjoy.
Likely, you will be talking about something you know, so try to consider your favorite elements, stories, and what you enjoy from the topic.
Avoid reading your speech and don’t be that guy or gal who is just reading the slides. Audiences can read. They want to see you talk about something you know, so try to offer a little energy.
If you are bored and disengaged, why should other people feel interested?
During your presentation, you should always try to leave room for questions. The questions people ask will help you see how you did and also make them feel more invested, as they get to participate directly and let themselves be heard too.
If possible, you can ask the audience for feedback after the talk, but the questions are a great solution. You can mention at the start that there will be a question round, it will help people to prepare.
MORE LIKE THIS
Ready for the next level?
Read Like a Pro
Explore the World’s
Take Your Ideas
Just press play and we take care of the words.
No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.
2 Million Stashers
Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.
Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.
Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.
This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!
Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.
Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.
I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!
Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.
Read & Learn
Access to 200,000+ ideas
Access to the mobile app
Unlimited idea saving & library
Unlimited listening to ideas
Downloading & offline access
Claim Your Limited Offer
Get Deepstash Pro
75% OFF | 1-Year Pro Subscription