As speakers, we work hard researching how to better communicate and connect with our audiences. We spend hours tweaking a twenty minute talk. We’ll try to figure out who might be in attendance. We spend hours practicing our speeches so that we give the audience the best experience possible. Wouldn’t it be nice if our audiences took the time to make sure they get the most out of our talk?
So you’re the richest man in the world (or number 2 depending on the stock market) and you’re giving a talk on malaria at the TED conference. How do you get the audience’s attention and keep it? Unleash a swarm of mosquitoes on the crowd and say “there’s no reason only poor people should be infected.” Has Bill gone crazy since his retirement from Microsoft?
Of course the mosquitoes weren’t carrying malaria, but I’m sure quite a few audience members were a bit antsy as the swarm of flying bugs was unleashed. Was this a good idea? In my honest opinion, yes and no.
So you’re about to take the stage to give a speech, and you start feeling a little strange. Your stomach feels like it’s tied up in knots. Your heart is racing and you have a warm and tightening feeling in your upper body. This is a normal feeling that even experienced speakers feel from time to time. So how do you deal with it? Just try imagining your audience in their underwear.
It’s every speaker’s nightmare: you’re delivering a speech and someone (or more than one person) gets up and walks out. Did you do something wrong or say the wrong thing? It’s possible that you did something to caused the person to get up and walk out (and you’ll most likely know what you did right away), but in many cases, the reason for someone walking out has nothing to do with the speaker or the presentation itself.
You’re probably familiar with the 80/20 rule— it seems like virtually everything in life can use it in some fashion. Some of the rules invert the two numbers such as 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients, while others slice two or more things into an 80% chunk and a 20% chunk. In public speaking, the latter rule is used – 80% of your time is spent on preparation while 20% is spent on practice and delivery.
A Toastmasters meeting is what makes a club thrive. If your meetings are run effectively, your members will be more enthusiastic and guests will be more apt to join. So here are some tips to help make your next Toastmasters meeting a huge success:
1. Start and end on time:
Effective time management shows everyone that you value their time as well as your own. If you always start the meeting ten minutes late, people will start showing up later and later. Likewise, if you end late, people will start getting angry and having negative feelings about the group.
Of all the different types of hostile audiences out there, the disinterested or uninterested crowd can be one of the toughest to address. There are a number of reasons that your audience can fall into this category, such us being forced to attend the event, so we’ll look at what causes an audience to be disinterested and what you can do to bring them around.
What causes a disinterested audience:
A number of things can cause an audience to be soured about your presentation even before you reach the podium. They range from personal prejudices to attitudes related to the event itself. Here are some common reasons: