Sunday, October 6, 2013

PUBLIC SPEAKING: Why You Should "Space Out" - If You Can

Stage, Microphone, Notes, AUDIENCE

     You’ve got a stage, you’ve got a topic, you’ve got points of emphasis… and you’ve got your script or your notes.
     What’s the one thing that deserves the most attention?  Easy… it’s the audience that sits in front of you. 
     I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people in front of a group with a fairly compelling topic and some interesting points of emphasis …. who completely forget that the art of delivery is at least as important as the material that you’re delivering. So, whenever I get the stage … I always ask the same questions before I present my material:

                     >  Can I look at room and also the stage, please

                >  Am I speaking from a podium or do I have freedom to move 

                >  Am I using a handheld microphone or will it be wireless and attached

     Every speaker should know their environment before they get there to do it “live.”  Having that picture in your head of room size, stage size, and number of people who may be in attendance is hugely important.

     The reason for the question about the microphone is simple.  If I have a podium with a microphone there, I know I’m locked down and unable to move.  That makes a big difference when it comes to engagement of the audience. If I have a handheld microphone or a “lavaliere” microphone that means I’ve got at least one hand free for note cards or papers…. and both hands free if it’s attached to my clothing.
Can You Freely Move From Podium?
     Here’s my point in all of this… there is no good speaker who’s not a compelling “entertainer.”  I’m not talking about telling jokes or doing “stand-up” … I’m talking about somehow successfully connecting with your audience and making sure they’re with you every step of the way.  For example, "side to side" on a stage keeps people on each side of the room a bit more focused.  Walk off the stage?  Better yet... especially if you’re telling a story or delivering something truly impactful.  In today’s world of undisciplined attention spans … we need to keep people invested in our information.  Trust me, if you walk and talk and give a dynamic delivery around a room … people won’t be quick to go head down into their smartphone!

Aisles You CAN use to Engage Audience
In the simplest way I can say it… be aware of your “space” before you give your presentation … and once you begin, consider taking the opportunity to use  the space you’ve been given.  Their room is your room … and “spacing out” is the best way I can think to give everyone a chance to connect with you.
     Thanks for reading this blog… and sharing with others – be it Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.  I hope this helps during your next talk … and I’d love your comments on Twitter – follow me @KraigKann.

Thought for the Day: Those who follow you and sell your personal brand are only those that YOU make pay attention.  Consider ways to engage.

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