The most important tool a public speaker can acquire is to learn how to make a connection with their audience. Once you can do this successfully people are going to enjoy your speeches and return for more.
One of the best ways to create a connection with your audience is to speak from your heart. Don’t just try to memorize your speech, talk with feelings and allow your emotions to rise to the surface. When people see you are passionate or upset by something they almost always immediately connect with you. They have probably experienced something similar that brings their own feelings to the surface.
Another way to set the tone of your speech is to pay attention to your opening. Very often you can capture your audience’s attention by giving them a startling fact or announcement.
Using stories is another compelling way to interact with your audience. If you use this angle you want to use a story that is true to you, and one that identifies with the topic you are talking about. If you are talking about your own journey on how you got to where you are today, you will have lots of stories to share.
One other great tactic is actually making use of a tool and that is by using images or graphics.
This could be in the form of a slide show, drawings on a white board or having a pin board full of photographs. This works really well if you allow your audience to come up on stage and view them before your speech. Plus it allows you to mingle and to introduce yourself at the same time.
Take all the above items into consideration and see if you can use one or more of them in your next speech. Whatever you do stay true to yourself, don’t make up stories. If you don’t have one to share, you could always use snippets from a friend’s story.
The most powerful tool you have to connect with your audience is simply to use your voice and your body language. When you speak, speak with authority and confidence. Walk the stage and make eye contact with your audience and don’t forget the power of visual aids.
Remember that once you have learned the skill of connecting with your audience, you engagements will likely increase. You will become a more requested speaker than you thought possible.