Connecting with your audience is probably the most important part of presenting, and it often seems like many presenters do forget about it. Creating this link is all about getting on the same level as the people you’re talking to. By breaking down the barrier that is often present between audience member and presenter, a better learning environment is created. If the audience member has the feeling of being taught by a friend, as opposed to lectured to by a teacher, his attention and interest will grow tremendously. Here are 8 easy tips that we think will help you connect with your audience.
1. Give background information – A short story or some personal history that may tie in to the presentation may help the audience relate to the presenter.
2. Talk in the first person – Again, this is a small tip that will help get the audience at ease. Also try using We, Us, ours, to break down the barrier between presenter and audience.
3. Tell jokes – Telling jokes will give the audience the impression you are a normal, approachable person just trying to pass on information as opposed to a presenter on a pedestal.
4. Ask for crowd participation – Giving the audience a chance to be a part of the presentation will not only help reinforce their learning, it will help them get closer to you as a presenter.
5. Meet and greet – Take the time to show up early to the presentation and “work the room.” What we mean by that is go around and introduce yourself, talk, and network before and after the presentation
6. Be spontaneous – Spontanuity conveys honesty on the most fundamental level. If you are spontaneous while you talk, the audience will see it and appreciate it. It shows you’re not such a “by the book” presenter, which is good for your credibility.
7. Use rich words- Try to use rich words and deep analogies. It is better symbolism and it will help your Auditory learners. Don’t try to talk over the audience with large words though, that will do the opposite.
8. Evoke curiosity and surprise – Tying into the spontaneity a bit, try evoking curiosity and surprise. This will inspire your audience to pay close attention, which will tye into them connecting more to you as a person, as opposed to a speaker.
Remember! The point of these hints is to try and break down the barrier between presenter and audience member. It will create trust between you and the audience, and will ultimately allow for better learning and comprehension. Try making the atmosphere that of a conversation that you are leading, as opposed to a lecture between students and a cold and distant teacher.
Up to you now, how do you get closer to your audience?