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How to Put Your Audience at Ease When Making a Speech

Learn how to put your audience at ease when making a speech from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking training video.

Transcript

So how do you make your audience more comfortable? Well for starters, before you even start speaking to them talk to them when you walk into the room or when they're walking into the room. Don't be one of these speakers who's all off in a corner - Oh don't talk to me. I'm looking at my speech notes. You need to be there shaking hands, meeting people, talking to people. Talk about them. Talk about their concerns. Then when you're starting your speech you can actually reference a part of the conversation. That will make them feel that you have listened to them, that you care about them. That will make them comfortable. The other thing, make sure you've got something interesting. Nothing makes people more uncomfortable than listening to someone thinking Oh my God. I'd really like to fall asleep but I can't because this person's right here. Make sure you have an interesting presentation and that will make the audience more comfortable. Now if you're speaking to fewer than 50 people you can also go around the room. Really connect with them and occasionally ask them questions if it's not a strict limited 10 minute or 5 minute speech. All these things will make them comfortable. But be careful. Sometimes we make our audience too comfortable. What's the result? (snoring) We've all seen speakers giving Power Point presentations and well their audience is comfortable all right. They're comfortable because they are asleep. You want your audience to be a little bit on edge, meaning you want them to pay attention. That's why it's good to look individuals in the eye, to ask them questions. "Make sense Meghan?" You ask, engage, you talk to them and they'll feel comfortable in the sense that they know you like them and care about them but they're not so comfortable that they fall asleep. Follow these tips and you'll have a comfortable audience.

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