Public Speaking

Public Speaking: Hostile & Difficult Audiences – Part 1: What Causes a Hostile Audience:

hostileWhen you speak to groups regularly, you’ll come across a hostile audience every now and then. Now hostile is a bit of an extreme word to describe a non-reactive audience. Sometimes the audience is sleepy, bored, not paying attention or simply disinterested.

In this three part series, we’ll discuss what makes an audience hostile, some steps you can take to keep an audience from getting hostile and what you can do when you’re facing a hostile audiene.

So let’s start with what makes an audience hostile:

A number of things can cause an audience to get hostile. These things include:

Public Speaking Success: How to Speak with Clarity

A common obstacle that many people who speak face is being able to speak clearly. This is more of an issue for those who speak infrequently as opposed to those who speak regularly – those in the former category are often unaware of the issue.

You can have a well written speech, practice it until you know it cold and then deliver it with confidence. But if your audience can’t understand what you’re saying, it’ll have minimal impact. You’ve probably seen speakers like this. So what are some of the things that can interfere with the clarity of your speech and what can you do about it? Let’s start with some of the reasons an audience doesn’t understand your talk:

Public Speaking Success: Three Ways to Make a Speech More Interesting

stageNo one  wants to deliver a boring speech so it probably comes as no surprise that one of the biggest challenges related to public speaking is to make a speech or presentation more interesting. Each time I teach my “Overcome your fear of public speaking” class, “boring the audience” is one of the things attendees share that they fear most.

The good news is that there are a few ways to make a speech more interesting and they simply require a little extra planning up front. So let’s look at three things we can do to make a speech more interesting.

Public Speaking Success: Tips for Handling Question and Answer Sessions

In a prior article, we covered how to prepare for a Q&A session so in this one, we’ll cover how to handle the actual Q&A session during your speech.

Before you start your talk, decide whether you’ll take questions throughout your talk or only during a designated question and answer session. It’s better to designate a time for questions versus taking questions throughout your talk as the latter can throw you off topic and quickly consume the time that you should be using to give your speech. When I teach a course or when I give a speech to a small audience, I’ll stop for questions several times throughout my talk. I do this because I’m trying to provide a more personalized experience for the audience and in the case of classes, I’m trying to ensure that everyone understands the material.

Job Interview Success: Multiple Interviewers: What to do when more than one person is interviewing you at the same time

Interviewing for a job is hectic, especially if you really want (or really need) that particular job. As interviewing candidates for a position requires a substantial amount of time and effort, employers are always trying to optimize the process but coming up with new ways to interview. One of the toughest interview situations out there is when you are meeting with more than one person, sometimes referred to as the Team Interview.

Public Speaking: How to Write a Speech – Part 1: Your Speech Outline

Writing a speech can sometimes be as nerve-racking as giving the speech. Where do you begin? What format should you use? Will you need props?

The list of potential questions is endless, but getting started is a lot easier than you think. Assuming you’ve chosen your topic and done some preliminary research, you’re ready to sit down and write.

Now some folks prefer the free write approach. They simply start writing their speech out word for word and once they’ve gotten to the end, they simply make a few edits and they’re done. If that doesn’t work for you, then try creating an outline.

Public Speaking Success: Preparing for a Question and Answer Session

Getting up in front of an audience and speaking is a challenge in itself. Having to answer questions in front of an audience makes it even tougher. The good news is that with proper preparation, you can eliminate most of the stress that comes along with answering questions in a group setting. Here are some of my favorite tips for Q&A:

Know your topic: