Put Your Audience in Your Pocket

In other words, you want a close connection with the people who are listening to your talk. That’s the most important thing – that connection. Without it, your eloquence counts for nothing.

Some ideas you can incorporate to build audience rapport.

1. Reward audience participation. Speakers on college campuses do this all the time. The usual trick is to throw out candy to audience members who ask or respond to questions. There are other rewards besides candy, but, chocolate kisses are always a winner. But then again, you could have diabetic members in the group.

Your reward could be merchandise that promotes your company. Everybody loves gifts, even if it’s SWAG.

2. Create a game. Again, we’re all still kids underneath our so cool and professional disguise. Give points for participation, do a role play or even play charades. And give prizes. (See tip #1.)

3. Get closer to them. Seriously, step closer to your audience. Get out from behind a podium or desk. Placing yourself more close to people physically makes it harder for them to shut you off. Please make sure you brush your teeth and use deodorant.

The main thing is to keep this in mind.

It’s not about you, it’s about your audience.

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