Have you ever seen a speaker who assumed he or she would automatically connect with the audience, and quite the opposite happened? Have you ever assumed you would connect with your audience, and were surprised when you didn’t?
Avoid these 5 CONNECTION MISTAKES and you’ll be amazed at how you immediately engage your audience and keep them engaged.
1. Not Preparing—Even if you have great story to tell, if you don’t prepare so that you tell the story concisely and compellingly, you will lose your audience.
2. Assuming a Connection Because You Work in the Same Field (or went to the same school)—Everyone has their own experience so make sure you find something that everyone in that field has in common (a difficult client, the slow economy, etc) in order to ensure a connection.
3. Not Allowing the Audience to Reflect—Ask questions like, “Have you ever had a client who constantly complained?” and then, pause to let them reflect on that client—this helps form a strong connection. Or you can begin questions with, “Do you remember a time when…” or “Did you ever try to…”.
4. Allowing Your Opinion to Dominate—Make sure you respect the opinion of the audience and share your opinion in a way that will build, not destroy, bridges.
See how one presidential candidate was booed by his audience for not respecting his audience’s position, and then won applause by continuing with something that did.
5. Not Staying Within the Allotted Time—Your audience will feel valued and respected if you stay within (preferably a little under) your scheduled time. This will not be difficult if you prepare and think of what the audience wants to hear, not everything you WANT to say! Remember to leave them wanting more!
When you make a connection with your audience, everything else will fall into place. Don’t worry about being the perfect presenter or trying to impress. Concentrate on connecting and your audience will leave as your biggest cheerleaders!
There are other mistakes speakers often make that disconnect them from their audience…what are some you have made or seen others make?