Speaking in front of an audience isn’t just about walking onto a stage and giving a speech. You have to step up and actually own the stage AND command the audience too, in order to really be at the top of your game.
This not only gives your audience the best of you, it also gives you the confidence to deal with situations that may arise and to really tune into your audience. So, follow these three tips and really understand how to manage the room and own your stage.
Feel the energy
The energy in a room will change throughout your speech, so learn to read the energy in the room and adjust your speech as necessary.
The important thing to remember is not take any dips in energy personally. If you are feeding the audience lots of information, they will naturally need time to process it. So feel the energy dip, give them time to process, then look to ramp the energy back up again!
Change your pitch or raise the volume whilst you talk or increase the volume of any music. Ask the audience to participate – get them jumping to their feet, dancing or affirming something out loud.
There will be times when you will regret allowing audience participation! Getting them to ask questions can be a good thing, however there will be times when you need to control when they ask their questions.
If you get the same person asking lots of questions, don’t be afraid to acknowledge their raised hand, but you’d like to hear from someone who hasn’t spoken yet.
You may get asked a question that you will be covering later in your talk, so ask them to hold fire as you’ll be covering it later… while letting them know that they’re more than welcome to ask again at the end if they still need their question answered.
Finally, don’t be afraid to temporarily withdraw the right to ask questions! Explain that you have lots of great content you’d like to share with them, so if they could leave any questions to the end, you can make sure they’re getting maximum information in the allocated time.
Be in control
As well as controlling audience participation, you need to be in control on the stage. Learn to manage the room – and the stage.
Stand up, walk around and really own your power. Deliver what you promise and move towards the outcome you want. By really owning your own power, you will ensure you are delivering your best to your audience.
Have you ever felt the energy in an audience needed to be increased? What strategies did you find really helped you to engage with your audience? Please leave me a comment and share your story below