When it comes to being a speaker, one of the hardest things to do isn’t write the perfect speech. The most integral part of people a speaker lies in connecting with your audience.
Connecting With Your Audience
- C – Confidence
- O – Openness and approachability
- N – Narrative
- N – Natural flow
- E – Empathy
- C – Clarity
- T – Time
Here are seven ways to effectively CONNECT with your audience and leave them with a message they will remember.
See Related: 6 Conference Activities That Will Engage Your Audience
#1. C – Confidence
It can be hard to overcome your fear of public speaking and make it onto the stage. That’s a feat in and of itself and has already earned you a round of applause!
Glossophobia, or the fear of public speaking, is a widespread fear for many people. Holding your own in front of an audience can be daunting. But for those who are able to conquer this fear, they’re in for some incredibly rewarding results.
As an experienced corporate emcee, getting here took plenty of discipline and practice. And it takes time to learn how to build a solid and genuine connection between you and your listeners.
As a speaker, one of your primary goals should be to connect with your audience. If you can nail this part, the rest will fall in line.
If you can build a relationship of trust and understanding with your audience, you can do anything. If you’re trying to persuade them of something, that becomes much easier.
So, now we have to look at how exactly is the best way to connect with your audience. And while there’s no surefire way, you can follow these tips to help engage your listeners so they are more likely to fall in line with you.
The Key To It All: Confidence
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard countless times that confidence is key. And as an emcee, that became much more important for me to embrace.
When a speaker is confident, it can make them more engaging, persuasive, and charismatic. And all of these things are integral for someone on stage.
Confident speakers can effectively project their voice, use body language, and make eye contact to make their points relevant. It creates a powerful sense of authority and truly captivates the audience.
People don’t want to listen to a speaker who has no confidence or can’t convey competence.
After all, if someone you’re listening to has no self-confidence or even a surefire idea about what they’re saying, it doesn’t make you want to hear or connect with them.
That’s why confidence is perhaps the most powerful tool you can possess when connecting with your audience. And it’s a great trait that can help you in a variety of other situations as well!
#2. O – Openness And Approachability
If you’re already oozing confidence, great. You’ve already accomplished a big part of the job that takes many people a long time to master.
However, it’s good to remember that confidence is not all it takes to build that connection you need with your audience. You need more than that.
As a speaker, you must be open with your audience. If you want to build a connection, you need them to trust you. And they won’t connect with you if they don’t feel some level of trust or mutual understanding.
Openness and approachability is the first step in creating an atmosphere that welcomes connection.
This will help establish you as an authentic and genuine person. It will also show your listeners that you can foster empathy and express your struggles.
Lastly, being open with your audience helps to create a space where listeners can be vulnerable about their own thoughts and struggles. This is how connections are born!
#3. N – Narrative
Your actions and behavior can only go so far when establishing yourself as a genuine person folks can connect with. It would be best to say the right things to get your audience on your side. After all, that’s a big part of being an effective speaker.
Your narrative needs to be relatable, emotional, and attention-grabbing. You can’t get away with telling a lax recounting of something you thought of on the spot. You need to give it your all.
Storytelling is one effective way to connect with your audience. Telling personal stories lets you show your inner emotions and struggles. And it gives your listeners an honest look inside how you think, feel, and act.
Remember that your narrative needs to be about more than statistics and facts. Yes, this can be helpful at times. But it’s not the key to building a connection. If that’s your sole focus, you must drop the robotic speech and deliver a more memorable and personal dialogue.
Bonus: How A Positive Attitude Can Benefit The Workplace
#4. N – Natural Flow
Your audience picks up on the little things. It’s important to know, but don’t let it scare you.
Your audience will notice if you never make eye contact. They’ll also notice if you never smile or if behave like a machine.
On stage, you need to be natural. But even if you’re not exceptionally experienced in front of an audience, you need to make a noticeable effort to be natural.
When someone has a natural flow, it creates a relaxed atmosphere. It makes a place where listeners can open up in their own hearts. This can help the audience to feel more at ease and comfortable, allowing them to form connections.
A natural flow in delivery can also help to keep the audience engaged. Your words will hit home if the audience cares about what you’re saying. If you can maintain a comfortable and engaging pace, your audience will maintain interest in you!
#5. E – Empathy
If you’re playing your cards right, you’re likely telling stories and personal tales of struggle and triumph that paint your audience a picture. This picture is critical in helping them understand who you are and if they should trust you (which, hopefully, they will.)
When you demonstrate empathy, you can better understand the audience’s perspective. And this is critical in building a relationship with them. This will also help you tailor your message to resonate with your listeners.
#6. C – Clarity
No one likes to be talked to in a way they don’t understand.
Your job here is not to use big words and jargon your listeners won’t understand. You may think you’re coming across as someone who knows their stuff, but, in fact, it’s the opposite.
Your audience has to be able to understand your message to resonate with it. So, if you’re talking in a way that alienates them, you’ve already failed.
If you can’t even explain your stuff in a way that others will understand, it might mean you don’t understand it well enough either!
#7. T – Time
If you want to build a real connection with your audience, a great way to do so is by showing your respect for them.
And often, we feel most respected when others take note of what’s happening and don’t take advantage of it. For example, not wasting time is a great way to show people you respect them!
Keep an eye on the times. Going over time and cutting into people’s day will leave them walking out with a sour taste in their mouths. On the other hand, when someone can manage their time effectively, it demonstrates respect for the audience’s time.
It also helps maintain maximum engagement and build rapport. All of these are crucial for making a connection!
Keep Reading: 7 Types Of Leadership Explained
Adam Christing has been called “The Tom Brady of emcees.” He has hosted more than 1,000 company meetings, special events, gala celebrations, and more. He is the author of several books and founder of CleanComedians.com. For more event tips, follow Adam Christing on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and YouTube.