Your Audience is Your Friend

Draw Strength from Your Audience

The primary reason we speak in public is to communicate a message to an audience. And to do that well we need to make a connection with them. Whether those presentations are made at work or at a social function, good contact hitters can reach out and make that connection with people.

Do you ever have to speak in public? Are you comfortable doing so or really nervous? It is important to realize when giving a presentation that your audience is your friend. I know, some of you are saying the audience is the reason you are apprehensive in the first place. They are the people who are judging you. You have no problem discussing your topic one-on-one with someone; it is in front of an audience that your throat gets dry, you feel anxious, you speak too quickly or start uttering ums and ahs.

Think of the audience from this perspective: No one comes to listen to your presentation hoping that you are going to be a flop, or expecting to waste time. They come to learn something or to be entertained. They want you to be a good speaker. The audience is really on your side.

You need to look into your audience as though it is a collection of your friends who are supporting you, and draw strength and energy from them. Then you will speak more confidently and will be more entertaining.

Your relationship with your audience is symbiotic. If you engage them, they can propel you to find more energy and be a better speaker. It really is about your perceptions. If you think of the audience as a bunch of sharks ready to devour you if you start to bleed, then that just might happen!

So many times, our attitude when facing challenges impacts how well we manage. When giving a speech: be prepared, find a coach or mentor to help you develop as a speaker, join Toastmasters, learn some tips on how to handle your nerves, and reach out and connect with the audience.  Speaking to a group is fun!

John Hindle, The Contact Hitter

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