How To Make Sure the Attention Is On YOU!
Fear that your audience will not be interested in what you are saying or will lose interest in what you are saying in the middle of your speech is one of the major issues with public speaking. This does occur frequently, to tell you the truth! Numerous speakers enter the stage and continue speaking for a considerable amount of time without recognizing that the audience has fallen asleep.
I’ve read numerous articles, seen videos, and received personal advice about what to do when you’re losing your audience during a presentation. Though well-intended, the advice’s flaw was that it presupposed I was already a skilled public speaker.
The suggestions would include statements like “use comedy,” “be dynamic,” “make your body language more engaging,” and “alter your tone so you don’t lose your audience.” This is all wonderful, but how do I put it to use while I’m just getting started?
Regardless of your level of public speaking expertise, the following are some factors you may influence to keep your audience more interested. Here are some things which you can control:
GET TO KNOW THE GROUPS
College students are more likely to lose interest if you discuss banking products and services with them unless you tailor your speech to appeal to them.
It is a common misconception among speakers that they can consistently deliver the same speech after preparing it. This is incorrect. The same speech must be modified for various audiences, even if the main content remains the same.
For instance, a banking speech intended for college students may need to be more humorous and entertaining, whereas a similar speech intended for banking experts may need to be more precise and technical.
PRACTICING MAKES PERFECT
Whether a speaker has practiced her speech or not can be determined quite easily. It will help you feel more secure and keep the audience interested if you take the stage after you’ve practiced your subject. The speaker’s authority and subject-matter expertise will be apparent to the audience.
Contrast this with a performer who stumbles, forgets their lines, or gives the impression that they haven’t had time to prepare. It’s totally acceptable to feel anxious during performing. However, skipping practice sessions is not. No matter how accustomed you are to the stage, this is something entirely within your control.
Practice to get a good result. People will respond positively if you take the time to demonstrate to them that you care about what you are saying.
BREAK THE MONOTONY
We must avoid monotony. Consider the speaker who simply stood behind the podium and droned on and on about a subject until you eventually lost interest. You must maintain your show’s interest by occasionally changing things up if you want to keep an audience interested. This is a successful strategy for grabbing the audience’s interest.
If you are addressing the audience from behind a podium, for instance, begin your speech there and then shift your position to another area of the stage halfway through. Ask your audience a question, utilize a prop, or insert a Q&A segment into the middle of your address if you think it will be pertinent. Make an effort to do something different.
STOP…AND LET THE SILENCE DO THE WORK.
This may be a real winner! Pauses have the unfortunate effect of entirely shattering listener expectations. They anticipate you to speak at length. However, if you take a moment to pause and let the silence linger, it will draw the audience back in and have them wondering, “Why is there no talking?”
A little pause is almost like a polite way of asking, “Are you paying attention? ” especially if you notice that your audience is about to drift off. When they catch the pause, they’ll tune back in and are more likely to pay attention to what you had to say.
BREAKS ARE IN!
The speaker going on and on for literally four hours without giving the audience a single break in between irritates me much when I’m attending seminars or lengthy speeches.
In these situations, the problem isn’t with the subject being discussed or the speaker being monotonous. Simply put, the audience wants to listen and focus on what is being stated, but they also want a brief respite!
To cover everything in a certain amount of time, speakers frequently cram too much material at once, but if the audience isn’t going to retain anything, there’s little point in doing so. A key strategy for maintaining audience interest is to take frequent, brief breaks.
MORAL OF THE STORY: Sometimes, you just can’t help it (so have fun with it!).
I can’t count how many times I’ve been on stage and the audience has simply slept off while I’m speaking.
Even with knowledge of and application of the concepts, there are still moments when a speech just doesn’t go well, and there are times when the audience will lose interest. There are countless possibilities for disaster. Some of them are under your control, some are not.
No matter what, try to have fun while on stage. You’ll eventually have a funny memory to tell jokes about.
But more significantly, the next time you take the stage, you’ll be a little bit more confident and experienced as a speaker and know better how to grab the audience’s attention.