I have been giving a lot of talks to corporate clients and know that even the most seasoned speakers sometimes have problems in engaging audiences. Most speakers I have seen are very content focused and do not focus so much on delivery. Sometimes, they do not make it a point to stir interest within their audiences. If you can truly engage the audience, they will love you and keep asking you back to speak for them.
Allow me to share with you some techniques that I personally use when speaking to crowds, as small as thirty, to hundreds of people. The techniques are pretty much the same and will definitely work. Master them and the crowds will adore you.
An effective tactic that I usually use is to get audiences to find someone and discuss with each other on what you have taught so far. This helps your audience to process and clarify with each other on what you have said.
Another method of processing is to give them some time to write down their thoughts. This helps an individual to consolidate their thoughts and write down key concepts or action steps that they can do immediately after your talk.
2. Create High Energy Movements
Using actions accompanied with words are a great way to stir the audience as well. This also creates an anchor where people can recall what you have said in an easy fashion because of the action. This also appeals to different learning modalities which basically separates people into the visual, auditory and kinestatic modes.
Getting people to raise their hands is also another great way to create movement. However, when you ask a question that requires them to raise their hands, make sure that you ask in a deliberate manner and wait for the response. Do not rush in to talk after you have asked a question so that the audience can respond to you.
If you have a large audience, your actions must be huge. This is so that people sitting behind are able to see your actions clearly.
3. Use Stories To Illustrate Your Points
Stories are extremely powerful in engaging and breaking down mental barriers that could have been erected by individuals. I really like compelling stories because they are able to put a face to the lesson that you want to put across. In addition, good stories speak to heart and open up avenues of belief and trust in what you have to say.
4. Speak Loudly
Most people lose interest in a person speaking when they cannot hear them. How many times have you switched off simply because someone asking a question is not clear or loud enough for you to hear? Ensure that you are able to maintain clear voice modulation throughout your talk and you will get people interested in what you have to say.
5. Create Quotable Quotes
Every good speaker knows that they have to create good quotes that their participants will scribble furiously into their notepads. Every time I attend a seminar, there will be tons of quotes copied down. Whenever you have people quoting you, you have made a deep impact!
Speaking to crowds is not difficult but can be learnt and mastered. A usage of engagement techniques can make a normal person become very good in their delivery. I hope you find it useful!