You really do know that you should practise your conference speech. And you also know that you should give yourself plenty of time to get ready for your speech. But, have you ever considered how you should prepare for your applause points? Those moments when you wait for that ripple of applause to become a crescendo of acclamation, perhaps?
Now if you are a dictator or have absolute power then you really don't have to worry about the applause points in your speeches. Because it's in your audience's best interests to display their appreciation. That's certainly the impression you gain with a lengthy speech from President Putin.
However, for everyone else we must pay just a little attention to the no small matter of the applause point. It's definitely something that most of us will take for granted with a conference speech. But a Party conference speech in Manchester by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, proves otherwise.
You can't ignore the moment when he expects the applause point with his comments about the state of the Union, for example.
But he's really on shaky ground when he waits, and then waits even longer for an applause point as he speaks about a reduction in carbon emissions. It's both startling and revealing. Startling that he doesn't appear to know his audience and revealing how he waits in anticipation. But you can't wait too long. If your applause just doesn't come, then you really have to move on with your speech.
So, what should you do to prepare for your applause point in your next conference speech? We could be trite and say that the Chancellor could be better prepared. But there's a little bit more to it than that.
In essence you need to really understand what's driving your audience. Because you can say what you like and you won't be applauded, unless you say what your audience wants. Is that a bit unfair? Maybe, but it does work.
No, you can't just take your audience for granted. Even if you are the Chancellor of the Exchequer speaking at your party conference in Manchester. Because that's not how it works. Know your audience, say what they want to hear and pause for the applause point. And, since timing is everything, it's really that simple.
You can always discover plenty of public speaking tips with our regular series of tips, hint and suggestions for speeches. And, of course, when you want to take your own speeches to another place, then why not get in touch to discuss some coaching.
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