How to speak to a bored audience

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The worst thing that can happen to a public speaker or MC is to have your audience yawning or acting bored throughout the presentation.

Not only will this give a substantial hit to your self confidence, but it might also deter you from pursuing this craft in the future.

So, how can a public speaker prevent boredom from ruining the whole program?

Here are some foolproof techniques to hold your audience’s attention.

1. Build your presentation/speech around topics that target your current audience.

One of the easiest mistakes to make in public speaking is for speakers to focus on what THEY want to talk about instead of what the audience is interested in discussing.

This is a mistake that even seasoned professional speakers can make from time to time. As a professional public speaker, you must always know the reason your audience attended.

Tailor your presentation around that topic and you are already heading in the right direction.

2. Learn the art of using emotional inflection

This is public speaking 101 but is something I often see overlooked today.

How can you expect your audience to become invested in your presentation if you yourself appear to be bored?

Avoid speaking in a monotone voice at all cost!

Learning the art of using emotional inflection will considerably improve your presentation.

Show your frustration for any problems that need tackling and get excited for every interesting solution that you want to share with your audience. Enthusiasm is an infectious emotion that will spread like wildfire through the audience.

3. Ask your audience to use their imagination

This is a simple yet highly effective tactic to catch your audience’s attention and have everyone participate at the same time.

What is great about this technique is that it can be applied to any topic you are discussing with the audience.

Requiring your audience to imagine a certain scenario can greatly improve their investment in your presentation. This is a quick and easy tactic you can use if you feel you are losing your audience during your speech.

4. Use macro and micro changes 

Some examples of macro changes:

  • Speaking from different areas of the room 
  • Shifting between different visual mediums during the presentation 
  • Introducing a different presenter for specific portions of the forum

Some examples of micro changes:

  • Change your delivery based on the current topic being discussed. For example, deliberate tone when making a statement and a more enthusiastic and animated approach when telling a story 
  • Using pauses during key statements 
  • Presenting short videos and using hand outs.

 

Public speaking is comprised of several layers, each one as essential as the next.

Knowing how to retrieve your audience’s attention is a skill that all speakers should learn from the get-go.