Dear fellow Toastmasters,
I am sure most of us would love to have the attention of the audience on us the entire time we are doing a speech project. For instance, when we say something funny or incorporate humour in our speech, we would definitely expect the audience to laugh or at least respond to what we are saying. Even though we might have delivered a very well-rehearsed speech, it is nevertheless crucial that we engage the audience as well. Building a strong rapport with the audience forms the root of an effective speech. The laughter, the applause from the audience without any doubt would make us more satisfied with our speech! Do you have the ability to capture the attention of the audience or do you find that your audience happen to lose interest in what you are speaking? Here are 10 tips shared by Dorothea Stuart from Toastmasters International on how to build rapport and engage your audience effectively!
1) Putting your audience first – It is important to know as much as possible about your audience before starting on your speech project so that you can tailor your content of your speech according to the needs of the audience.
2) Find opportunities for humour – Humour is the most effective tool to engage the audience and one of the oldest rapport building techniques.
3) Allowing for flexibility in your content – Flexing your speech in response to your audience. Arrive early before your speech and talk to as many people as possible. Pick up interesting stories or anecdotes which you could use later on as well.
4) First Impressions count – Dress appropriately and form a good mental and physical state which communicates a positive attitude and energy to your audience. Be enthusiastic about your speech.
5) Have a strong opening – Make the audience feel as though they are good hands with your opening. Find an opening that grabs the audience attention and engage them immediately.
6) Manage the middle – Maintain and excite the audience’s interest at key points in your speech. (E.g. a humorous twist or shocking conclusions)
7) Using stories for emotional connection – “Make a point. Tell a story. Tell a story. Make a point.” We are more likely to remember the story that illustrates this structure even if we grasp the facts from a speech.
8) Use your voice with vocal variety – Varying the pace and volume at which you can speak. If you are telling a story about a fast-paced environment – pick up your pace. To engage the audience, your voice should match your content.
9) Give the audience time – Pauses are important in a speech for the audience to digest what you are saying.
10) Have a strong ending – Craft a clear, concise summary of your key message to end on. Have a specific call to action so that people know exactly what they need to do.
I hope these ten tips have been very useful for all of you and let us strive to become better and more effective communicators!
The recommended article Ten ways to build rapport and engage your audience can be found at https://www.trainingjournal.com/articles/feature/ten-ways-build-rapport-and-engage-your-audience . All rights belong to the original author.