Getting Over Yourself

October 17, 2009

Myth #11 Speaking to a crowd is different from speaking one-on-one

Filed under: Myths — Barbara Rocha @ 12:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’ll grant you there are more people in the audience, but let’s focus on how they’re alike. (It’s more efficient to talk to a group than to talk too them one at a time.)

Talking to just one may be easy because you aren’t worried what you’re going to say next, or because you’re actually having a conversation which involves looking at them, noticing their reactions, and feeling that it’s interactive. That gives you an idea of how they’re responding to what you say.

So, let’s apply those same things to speaking to an audience. Start with the idea that you’re having a conversation with a lot of people at once; just sharing an idea with them. You’ll sound genuine and be more effective.

1) Not worrying about what you’re going to say next: Organize your material in a logical flow and develop a story line about it that’s easy for you to follow. You’ll just be sharing your ideas (even technical ones) and not just verbalizing your notes.

2) Having a conversation that involves seeing their responses: Instead of seeing the audience as a mass of people, see them as individuals. Talk to each person seeing them as clearly as in a one-on-one conversation) and you’ll feel connected with your material and with the audience.

3) Feeling like you’re ina 2-way communication: Whenever possible, know who you’re talking to before you decide what to say (that is, analyze your audience). That’s where you’re developing their part of the communication–you’re answering their (unspoken) questions.

And, if it’s not possible to find out who they are ahead of time, find out who they are on-the-spot: “I’d like to know something abou tyou so I can make my sure my remarks are relevant. By a show of hands, how many of you. . . ?” Ask the questions you need to know abut them so you can tweak your remarks to fint.

Perception really is reality. Expect it to be a conversation, expect to connect with them naturally; then do everything you can to make it easy for you to deliver it in just that way. It can be as easy as having a one-on-one conversation.


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