5 Keys for Captivating Your Audience

June 25, 2019 by  

Would you like to actively engage, captivate. and motivate your audience?

If you answered yes to that question, here are 5 simple approaches for making what you say memorable to your audience.

1. Make Direct Eye Contact. If you are going to be a persuasive speaker you need to look members of your audience in the eye. When you do that they will then think that you are actually speaking directly to them and it will make you seem more honest, likeable, and believable. This means maintaining eye contact for 5-10 seconds with as many audience members as possible during your presentation.

2. Have Fun. Now I realize that sounds pretty basic, but many speakers act like what they’re doing is painful and that makes the audience uncomfortable. A speaker with passion and energy tells the audience that there is something worth listening to because look at how much the speaker is enjoying talking about it. Passion and excitement are contagious so if you show that you feel that way about your topic, the audience will likely end up feeling that way, too.  You set the tone for your audience so if you are excited and can share that successfully, they will be excited, too.

3. Smile. Smiling helps to build trust with the audience. When you smile you look like you are happy and that is a good start to building a positive relationship with your audience.

4. Energize & Project your Voice. Speakers who talk too quietly make listeners work too hard. So when you speak, you need to generate enough vocal power and energy to reach every listener in the room, especially people in the back and those who are hard of hearing. The larger the speaking venue, the more you must project your voice.  In a very large venue, you may need a microphone to accomplish this so be sure to request one if necessary.

5. Be Aware of your Stance & Gestures. What your body is telling the audience is no less critical to your success than what your voice and words are saying. Generally, spend as much time on the content of your presentation, as practising how you look when you are speaking. If you have any annoying habits like adding “ah’s” or “ums” after many words or tugging on a ring on your finger or some other distracting habit, the audience will get uncomfortable and distracted by those behaviours because you will look uncomfortable to them. Be sure to practice either in front a mirror so you can see what you are doing, or use your phone to record your practice or if you have a friend or family member who will give you feedback, then do that, because you need to see and hear yourself as your audience will. That important process is a crucial step in knowing how to speak with enough confidence and energy to captivate your audience.

If you follow the five suggestions described above you will be much more likely to captivate your audience and enjoy your presentation.  If you enjoy it, it is very likely that your audience with also enjoy what you are sharing.

I wish you every success in your presentations and so just relax, practice ahead of time, and just have fun!