Any college graduate with a project report and vital information can speak before an intelligent audience. Some people not only speak, they touch the hearts of their audience. People care about what they have to say. If you are just sharing information, better speak briefly and to the point. Your audience is going to dismiss you quickly.
Do you want to connect with your audience? You need to do more than verbalize information. You need to show the human face to information, show people that someone cares – they give a damn – about what is going on.
Remind people about what’s important. Go beyond the numbers, people are affected by what this enterprise does. Who will this change affect? Get a clear image of the head or find a particular example. Every year the president of the United States holds a state of the Union address. It’s typical that the POTUS will have several people in the audience to illustrate his programs or ideas. They are real people, and they have unique stories. People are important; the numbers are a yawn.
Try to touch each person as an individual. Look at your audience, but look at them as individuals. Maintain eye contact with a few, and speak to that person as if he or she is the only person in the room with you. Focus on a few people. If you speak to everyone in the room at all times, your attention and energy will be far too distributed. At the same time, remember that each person wants you to treat them as if they are unique. How can you notice uniqueness around you?
Include a bit of theater. People love a good story. Stories convey meaning in a very condensed format. Stories move hearts; pure data can never touch this emotional center. Dramatize the story and put life into the way you move and voice your message before an audience. Think “actor” not just a dry corporate messenger. If you reach the heart level of your audience, they will go a long way to support your cause.
Show people why your purpose for speaking matters to them. Treat them as individuals, and don’t be afraid to dramatize your point. Get people involved, and they will fight with you.
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