Have a Mini-Conversation with the Audience

Posted by Kristin Arnold on May 5, 2011

Whether you are speaking to a few people or to a packed auditorium, present your information in a conversational style rather than a stilted “this is how presenters present” style.  Most of us are pretty engaging when we speak one-on-one or to a small group of close friends.  So why not take that comfortable, casual style with you onto the stage or to the front of the room?  Your local television news anchors and reporters have a more conversational tone and so can you.

As you begin your talk, think mini-conversations rather than a stand-and-deliver speech. Look at a friendly face in the audience and stay with that person for a sentence or two or until you complete a thought.  Allow yourself enough time to connect with that person – typically three to five seconds.  Then move to someone else in the room, distributing your mini-conversations smoothly and deliberately throughout the room, without being too predictable as to where you will go next!

Remember to reach into the rafters, the cheap seats, and the fringes of the audience – when you pull them into the conversation, it pulls in everyone in between!

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