Connecting with an audience through a screen

Connecting with an audience through a screen

Most of us have switched to working primarily online since March, and the initial excitement of virtual happy hours is long gone.

When having a video conference, keep in mind that you are talking to a group of individuals who are sitting at home alone at their computers. They have every temptation and opportunity to multitask.

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  • If the group is small, ask a question from the start and turn your presentation into a conversation.
  • If the audience is large, bring audience members together through polls, “raised hands” in response to yes-or-no questions, and the chatbox.

Connect with your audience from the start by sharing a relevant story and asking for their participation.

Choose a story that is more personal than you would tell in a regular work setting. The barriers between work and life are coming down and you can use that to your advantage.

Your main tools to project energy through a screen are vocal variety, hand gestures, facial expressions, and posture.

Raising and lowering your voice, changing your tone, speeding up and slowing down are great ways to keep an audience listening.

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Charismatic leaders cause followers to become highly committed to the leader's mission and make personal sacrifices by mastering the art and science of personal magnetism.

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Eye signals
  • Eye gaze: Directly eye contact indicates interest and paying attention. Prolonged eye contact can feel threatening.
  • Blinking:  People often blink more rapidly when they are feeling distressed or uncomfortable. 
  • Pupil size: Highly dilated eyes, for example, can indicate that a person is interested or even aroused. 

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Contrary to popular belief, body language in the context of public speaking is more than hand and arm gesture.

It means adjusting the way we stand, move and smile to capture and hold the attention of an audience.

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