How to WOW Your Audience
By Matt Bacak
All professional speakers who “wow” their audiences have one thing in common: P-A-S-S-I-O-N!
A public speaker can have the best information, the best voice, and the best Powerpoint presentation on the planet, but without passion, the speech will fall flat every time.
Every speaker is a motivational speaker. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about finance or personal growth – you need to ignite your audience and get them excited about your subject. And the only way your audience will become excited is if you’re excited. Inspiration begins with you and your own feelings. You’ll never succeed as a speaker unless your topic gives you an adrenaline rush.
The World’s Best Speakers
What are some of the characteristics of a great public speaker? The world’s best speakers are natural and human. They’re dynamic, but they’re not over the top. They use visuals and Powerpoint presentations, pictures, graphs, videos, and music when it’s appropriate, but they never use these elements as a crutch. The most important part of the presentation is always the speaker – the human being speaking head to head and heart to heart to other human beings.
The world’s best speakers can speak off the top of their heads. They may use notes, but they don’t really need them. They look into the eyes of audience members as they speak, and they may even ask a question of a particular audience member.
The world’s best speakers have “colorful” voices. The worst imaginable thing you can do is speak in a monotone voice. Be sure to tape yourself and practice enough that your vocal tone is natural, but also uses your vocal range, becoming dramatic when appropriate. Hire a vocal coach, if necessary.
The world’s best speakers tell personal stories, but only when they directly relate to the topic. They also laugh at themselves if it helps to make a point.
The world’s best speakers subtly praise the audience and empathize with the problems audience members may face.
Get Your Audience Involved
Think of your speech less as a lecture than an experience. You are working with the audience. Even if you’re the only person talking, imagine that you’re having a dialogue. Whatever you do, don’t talk at your audience.
When possible, create interaction. Ask for a show of hands. Ask a couple of people to share one of their own experiences. Conduct an exercise in the middle of your speech when the audience’s attention span may be waning. Ask them to do something surprising like close their eyes and picture themselves at age 100 offering advice to someone.
Do whatever you can to get your audience involved. This will hold their interest and keep them right there with you and in your corner. They will feel a part of your presentation and will know you sincerely care that they’re getting the most out of your time on stage.
Observe Other Speakers
When you watch other speakers, make notes about what you feel they could improve. This will be a blueprint for you as to what to avoid and will make you a much more objective judge of your own work when you watch videos of yourself. Alternatively, note what impresses you about other speakers. Study the best in order to become one of the best.
Always end your speech on a high note with a call to action. Summarize your points, and incite your audience to get out there and do something great. Make them believe that your ideas will truly help them, and make them believe they can accomplish what you envision for them. Use a punch line or an inspirational quote as your final word, and give your audience a big warm smile.
If at all possible, make yourself available to speak privately with those who wish to see you after your speech. You never know who might be in the audience. You may get new bookings or leads before you even walk out the door!
Matt Bacak became “#1 Best Selling Author” in just a few short hours.
Recent Entrepreneur Magazine’s e-Biz radio show host is
turning Authors, Speakers, and Experts into Overnight Success Stories.
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