Is your audience suffering an engagement drought?

Speak Schmeak

For speakers, there are also many, many ways to achieve your goal of engaging an audience. Give your audience lots of activities to do in pairs and groups and get them to report back their results and solutions. Tell stories that illustrate your points so that your audience can apply your concepts to real-life situations. Ask a lot of questions and listen to your audiences'' stories to help them discover how their experiences tie into your main points.

2015 152

There's no such thing as a dry topic, only a dry speaker

Speak Schmeak

The other day someone commented on a post I wrote, saying, "Public speaking is easy if you love what you're speaking about and know it thoroughly. But sadly, not everyone feels passionate about their speaking topic.

Topics 174
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Information doesn't excite your audience

Speak Schmeak

And he recognizes that this is a problem when he speaks. He told me he''s afraid that if he doesn''t give enough information, the audience won''t be as excited as he is. What excites people is your own emotional engagement with the topic. Information has never excited an audience, I''m sorry to say. All information does is overwhelm your audience. What''s the best way to make sure you''re not overwhelming the audience?

2014 152

Getting and keeping the audience's attention - interview

Speak Schmeak

We talked about how to get and keep the audience's attention. Engaging the Audience Pet Peeves Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Interviews Mehrabian Speaking EngagementsIf you missed my interview by Sharyn Abbott on August 31, you can listen here. among other things. It's about an hour long. Listen to internet radio with VoARadio on Blog Talk Radio.

2012 133

Drowning your audience? Try these 3 livesavers.

Speak Schmeak

And these comments come with an exasperated tone and a clear disappointment in the audience, that the audience is just too clueless to understand without lots of lecturing. We speak over our audiences'' heads, we give far too much detail, and we pack our presentations so full of information that our audiences leave numb and slack-jawed from the mental barrage. What does the audience really need, want and care about?

2014 151

5 ways to improve your micro-presentations

Speak Schmeak

One of my clients told me about speaking at an event where there were ten speakers in a hour. Your audience is now jumping from one Zoom call to another with seconds to spare. Oftentimes when we practice, our presentations are shorter than when we give them in front of an audiences.

2020 179

Curling with kisses: How a teacher engages the audience

Speak Schmeak

She named the lesson 'Curling With Kisses.'" ~ Daily Sound Remember your junior high school science teacher, toiling away to come up with activities and experiments every day to make science fun and engaging? Couturier) who, when our class was scheduled before lunchtime, would go with us to the dining hall and have us all sit together speaking Spanish for the duration of the period. Was it a powerful and engaging activity?

Why your audience isn't participating

Speak Schmeak

One of the quickest ways to lose your audience is to pretend to want participation, but not really invite it. I love asking my audience questions. In a recent presentation, I asked my audience if they've ever regretting not speaking up when they had something to say. The first question doesn't give the audience an opportunity to answer, beyond nodding their heads and responding internally.

Public Speaking Techniques - How to Close a Speech

Great Public Speaking

It doesn't matter if your entire speech was brilliant and the audience came away with information that will change their lives. This ending segment will have a strong influence on what the audience takes home with them when you are done. Please, at sometime during your talk ask the audience to do something. Many a great NO ZZZZZs talk went no further than the walls of the meeting room because the audience wasn't moved to action.

"Speak to Engage: 7-Step Shortcut to Public Speaking Success" starts October 4

Speak Schmeak

Yes, you can give engaging presentations -- presentations that compel your audiences to take action, presentations that persuade your audiences to buy, presentations that take your audiences from apathetic to motivated -- and you can do it with ease and with confidence! Join me for my new online program " Speak to Engage: 7-Step Shortcut to Public Speaking Success ," starting October 4.

Video: Get the response you want from your audience

Speak Schmeak

Remember this blog post about asking questions in a way that you get the response you want from the audience? Engaging the Audience Video Public Speaking Techniques and StrategiesWell, now it's a video! And updated , to boot. Check it out.

Are you answering your audience's #1 question?

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever been in the audience when a speaker was "preaching to the choir?" Some of us, as speakers, are lucky enough to have audiences like that all the time, but most of us usually have some occasional or frequent persuading to do. Of course, the reason I was thinking this was that it's my job to make sure I make my content relevant to my readers' and audiences' lives. Your audience is constantly asking "So what?" Your audiences don't act.

2013 152

What does your audience really expect of you? Guest post by Barry Potyondi

Speak Schmeak

Regardless of the speaking opportunity, every audience wants the same three things from a speaker: Clarity How many times have you listened to a speech and come away thinking, “What on earth was he trying to say?” Brevity How often does a member of the audience say that a speech was far too short? Watch any audience during a speech and you’ll see many listeners tune out after about ten minutes.

2015 152

What's best for the audience?

Speak Schmeak

While discussing audience engagement strategies the other day, a client suggested that these strategies might not work for her kinds of audiences, especially at scientific conferences, where there are standard protocols. We were speaking specifically about opening a presentation with something other than the obligatory five minutes of thank yous and credentials, instead using perhaps a question or a story to kick things off.

Relating to the audience, TEDxWomen-style

Speak Schmeak

How often do you get to hear one amazing woman after another speak on critical issues that affect us every day as individuals and as a global community? Emotion that's too real , too raw, or too personal has no place in public speaking for many people. But the only way you will connect with your audience is through emotion. But if the audience doesn't CARE about what you're saying, you've failed. Stories help audiences relate to a speaker.

2011 143

Adjust your expectations of virtual presenting

Speak Schmeak

One of the things that presenters love so much about being in front of a live audience is the instant gratification of your audience's responses. The audience smiles, they laugh, their body language changes and shifts.

2020 132

Do you make your audience feel stupid?

Speak Schmeak

The author was describing how he had reinvigorated his business as the speaking market had changed along with the economy. Otherwise, it's one buzzword after another, one generic, jargony sentence after another, saying nothing that actually intrigues or engages me or makes them stand out in a crowd of training companies. Written by someone who's supposed to know that it's all about the audience. Do you know if your audience even understands what you're saying?

2010 153

Does Tom Brady even eat bread?

Speak Schmeak

When you give a presentation, there will likely ALWAYS be someone in your audience who is critical of your message, who doesn't believe you, who has some concern about your topic. Most of the time, the people who object to your message or ideas won't speak up.

Making science engaging

Speak Schmeak

He's talking to an audience at the Ontario Science Center about how human waste is handled in space. He explains scientific concepts in a way that a young child can understand, yet the adults in the audience are clearly enjoying the talk. He's got great comic timing throughout; notice how he pauses in the middle of his final sentence, as the meaning of what he's saying starts to dawn on the audience and they begin to laugh before he's finished.

2008 109

Video: Get the response you want from your audience

Speak Schmeak

Remember this blog post about asking questions in a way that you get the response you want from the audience? Engaging the Audience Video Public Speaking Techniques and StrategiesWell, now it's a video! And updated , to boot. Check it out.

Three tips for directing your audience's response

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever asked your audience a question, only to be bombarded with personal stories and responses that shifted the direction of where you wanted to go? Audience involvement is a critical part of any presentation. Allowing the audience to share their knowledge and experience benefits both the audience and the speaker; the audience learns from each other, and the speaker learns from the audience. Share your tips for directing your audience's response!

Direct 150

Are you giving the audience tools they can use?

Speak Schmeak

First, I'll share my thoughts on why Jason's presentation was effective from a public speaking perspective. He was constantly asking the audience questions , inviting our participation. That was a little disappointing, and it reminded me how much audience members like to share ! Jason's method shows that the audience is patient, and will wait for you. The presentation was a lot of fun for me, as speaker and as an audience member.

2012 155

So you love public speaking.Now what?

Speak Schmeak

Love public speaking? Quick Fixes Engaging the Audience Video Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies General Comments This one''s for you!

2013 136

Why your audience isn't participating

Speak Schmeak

One of the quickest ways to lose your audience is to pretend to want participation, but not really invite it. I love asking my audience questions. In a recent presentation, I asked my audience if they've ever regretting not speaking up when they had something to say. The first question doesn't give the audience an opportunity to answer, beyond nodding their heads and responding internally.

Does your audience have a reason to listen for another minute?

Speak Schmeak

Sure, the audience is paying attention to you when you start your presentation; they've got no choice, really, unless you are so quiet and low-key that they literally do not realize you've begun. Engaging the audience is an ongoing prospect. People's minds drift, they get distracted, they become engaged in their own thoughts. Here are a bunch more posts about engaging the audience. Some audience members will remember discrete moments of your presentation.

2012 150

If it matters to you, it can matter to your audience

Speak Schmeak

A client recently told me that part of her problem around creating an engaging presentation about the work she does is that "It's just a job." She will be introducing her company as a sponsor at an industry networking event soon, and she has no real motivation to speak. She has no emotional connection to the work and therefore can't see how to make it exciting for the audience. At the same time, we're told to make our topic engaging and interesting for the audience.

2011 152

Do you make your audience feel stupid?

Speak Schmeak

The author was describing how he had reinvigorated his business as the speaking market had changed along with the economy. Otherwise, it's one buzzword after another, one generic, jargony sentence after another, saying nothing that actually intrigues or engages me or makes them stand out in a crowd of training companies. Written by someone who's supposed to know that it's all about the audience. Do you know if your audience even understands what you're saying?

2010 130

How do you evoke your experience for the audience?

Speak Schmeak

Find ways to paint descriptive pictures with your words so your audience can experience your story as though it's happening to them. Speakers Engaging the Audience Public Speaking Techniques and StrategiesPomona College play long before my costume design days I got goosebumps from one line in Julie Weiss' speech as she was honored with the Disaronno Career Achievement in Film and Television award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards.

2011 130

Four reasons to stop using PowerPoint

Speak Schmeak

They say slides are boring, prevent engagement, and distract the audience away from the speaker's message. If you're still living in the 90s, using crap clip art and cartoons, please don't inflict your slides on audiences. If you insist on listing everything you know about your topic in the form of bullet points or complex charts and graphs, please don't inflict your slides on audiences. Slides can be part of an engaging, fun and creative presentation.

2018 111

What's best for the audience?

Speak Schmeak

While discussing audience engagement strategies the other day, a client suggested that these strategies might not work for her kinds of audiences, especially at scientific conferences, where there are standard protocols. We were speaking specifically about opening a presentation with something other than the obligatory five minutes of thank yous and credentials, instead using perhaps a question or a story to kick things off.

Storytelling in 30 seconds - can you do it?

Speak Schmeak

Engaging the Audience Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies Stories TV inspiredIt's been a while since I posted about a TV commercial (ah, the beauty of the DVR), but here's one I came across recently that perfectly demonstrates the concepts of concise, compelling and clear storytelling. The message is delivered in 30 seconds, through visuals, music and exactly two spoken sentences. Can you be this concise, compelling and clear in your messaging?

2015 151

Don't lose yourself in the adoration of the audience

Speak Schmeak

The judges' criticisms stemmed from their belief that Kent was too busy playing to the audience and not demonstrating authenticity in his performance. Nigel Lythgoe said, "You are starting to become a little fake in your performance.you have a magical quality and you love playing to the audience, but if you start faking your performance, that will get you into trouble with the viewers. Please be careful, and don't lose yourself in the adoration of the audience."

2010 140

3 surefire ways to glue your audience to their seats without Krazy Glue, hot glue or Mod Podge

Speak Schmeak

I hear this time and time again from clients, from audiences, from strangers who find out I'm a public speaking coach. How do I get the audience's attention and keep it?" They may say it in slightly different ways, like "I'm afraid of boring the audience," or "I wish I could get the audience excited and motivated to participate," or "How can I make a greater impact on my audience?"

2012 122

How do you evoke your experience for the audience?

Speak Schmeak

Find ways to paint descriptive pictures with your words so your audience can experience your story as though it's happening to them. Speakers Engaging the Audience Public Speaking Techniques and StrategiesPomona College play long before my costume design days I got goosebumps from one line in Julie Weiss' speech as she was honored with the Disaronno Career Achievement in Film and Television award at the Costume Designers Guild Awards.

2011 116

The audience doesn't need to know

Speak Schmeak

One thing I've learned over my many years of speaking and before that, performing: The show must go on ! You suck it up and give the audience your all. This post was inspired by my Twitter friend, paramedic, speaker and trainer Greg Friese , who asked if I told the audience, and how do I feel, in general, about such qualifying statements. In conversation with the organizer, I mentioned my lack of sleep, but did I tell the audience?

2010 136

Does your audience have a reason to listen for another minute?

Speak Schmeak

Sure, the audience is paying attention to you when you start your presentation; they've got no choice, really, unless you are so quiet and low-key that they literally do not realize you've begun. Engaging the audience is an ongoing prospect. People's minds drift, they get distracted, they become engaged in their own thoughts. Here are a bunch more posts about engaging the audience. Some audience members will remember discrete moments of your presentation.

2012 117

If it matters to you, it can matter to your audience

Speak Schmeak

A client recently told me that part of her problem around creating an engaging presentation about the work she does is that "It's just a job." She will be introducing her company as a sponsor at an industry networking event soon, and she has no real motivation to speak. She has no emotional connection to the work and therefore can't see how to make it exciting for the audience. At the same time, we're told to make our topic engaging and interesting for the audience.

2011 122

Three tips for directing your audience's response

Speak Schmeak

Have you ever asked your audience a question, only to be bombarded with personal stories and responses that shifted the direction of where you wanted to go? Audience involvement is a critical part of any presentation. Allowing the audience to share their knowledge and experience benefits both the audience and the speaker; the audience learns from each other, and the speaker learns from the audience. Share your tips for directing your audience's response!

Direct 110

Relating to the audience, TEDxWomen-style

Speak Schmeak

How often do you get to hear one amazing woman after another speak on critical issues that affect us every day as individuals and as a global community? Emotion that's too real , too raw, or too personal has no place in public speaking for many people. But the only way you will connect with your audience is through emotion. But if the audience doesn't CARE about what you're saying, you've failed. Stories help audiences relate to a speaker.

2011 100

Stop playing it safe and start owning the stage!

Speak Schmeak

Just a quick message to tell you about my upcoming teleseminar series "Speak to Engage: 7-Step Shortcut to Public Speaking Success." Engaging the Audience Specials and Sales Programs Public Speaking Techniques and Strategies I''m offering an early bird special of $100 off for the first 7 people who register by Friday, April 12. Check it out!

2013 136

I dare you to be expressive

Speak Schmeak

My client is passionate about her cause, and when she speaks about it, her passion comes out. When I hear her speak, I get excited too! And also, as a speaker, you must engage your audience emotionally in order to be persuasive. If you want results from your presentations, you must activate your audience's emotions. But digging into your own emotions about your topic and taking your audience on a journey with you so they feel something is how change happens.

2019 109

Are you giving the audience tools they can use?

Speak Schmeak

First, I'll share my thoughts on why Jason's presentation was effective from a public speaking perspective. He was constantly asking the audience questions , inviting our participation. That was a little disappointing, and it reminded me how much audience members like to share ! Jason's method shows that the audience is patient, and will wait for you. The presentation was a lot of fun for me, as speaker and as an audience member.

2012 109

What's your audience's culture?

Speak Schmeak

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Santa Barbara Associates , an "old-boys' club for women" that was started almost 30 years ago as a place for women business owners and executives to network and socialize with like-minded members. Before the speaking engagement, I exchanged several e-mails with the organizer, to discern what their interests were in regard to public speaking and to make sure I was able to view the room setup in advance.