When it comes to speaking to your audience, do you try to play it safe with your words, or do you try to rock the boat? Knowing when holding back is advisable and when to go out guns blazing is a skill not everyone can confidently claim they have mastered.
To be an exceptional speaker you need to know how to adapt on the fly.
One aspect you need to avoid is by being too safe in your public speaking. This can happen without you noticing, which will lead to you losing your audience.
To avoid such a scenario, here are some tips on how to avoid playing it too safe when it comes to public speaking, as well as how you can challenge yourself to improve upon your skills and avoid being stuck at a certain level when speaking in front of an audience.
Connecting with the audience
Experienced and amazing public speakers always try to mix up each of their presentations. How about you? Do you use the standard PowerPoint presentation? Try to mix it up and develop a presentation suited to your audience. Speaking to business people will sometimes require an in-depth PowerPoint presentation, of course but how about a more casual crowd?
Implement some props, ask the audience to participate in debates, incorporate games into your presentation. These are just some ways to shake up your routine. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
Engaging the audience
Expressing yourself through body language is a simple yet effective way to improve your overall performance on stage. Do you usually stand in the same place during your presentation?
Try to be slightly more animated on stage and move around. This is one simple and easy technique that can accentuate your speaking prowess in a rather subtle manner.
Expand your audience type
This is a real challenge for any public speaker. Some will feel more comfortable when talking to a specific audience type. Some public speakers might shine more in a crowd of a few dozen; some prefer giving presentations to a small group of experienced entrepreneurs and company CEOs.
Which audience type is your specialty? Now, start branching out on different paths.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is a must if you want to grow your repertoire. If you have already mastered public speaking to a specific audience, then there is no more room to grow. Push yourself, push your methods of public speaking, and do not be afraid to try new techniques.
Safely threading and rehearsing your words for a presentation is an acceptable method to avoid any awkward interactions with the audience. However, the downside with that approach is that there is a high chance you will lose your audience along the way. Grow your skills, expand your audience type, and don’t be afraid to rock the boat.