As a conference speaker you really do want to engage with your audience. In fact it has to be one of your key goals. And at a large conference venue, then you should pay it more attention than normal. That’s because you can't just rely on audience eye contact in a big auditorium. So, with these five pointers we look at some ways that you can engage your conference speech audience.
You must ensure that your content is as relevant as possible for your conference audience. You can always check its relevancy with audience research or some insights into the industry or market relevant to your audience. Of course, you can always be topical. Issues of the day will typically have a higher priority over more esoteric topics
Appear knowledgeable and familiar with all your material, its context and timing. Once you are familiar with your conference speech, then you will appear more natural. Don’t forget to build a sound structure to your speech, know the facts and figures that you quote. This David Cameron "Big Society Speech" proved light on structure but contained many hard-hitting lists. It’s a key way for you to engage with your conference speech audience. However, don’t forget that too many facts can also have the opposite effect.
"It is never wise to try to appear to be more clever than you are. It is sometimes wise to appear slightly less so." William Whitelaw
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Eye contact. Your job is to establish it, keep it and use it. Eye contact is so important when you give your speech. That's because your audience really wants to listen to you and become engaged with you and your subject.
Take Some Questions
Beyond the obvious rhetorical question, you can always take some questions from your conference speech audience. Of course the rules for all question and answer sessions apply, however: keep your answers short and concise and you will achieve more engagement.
Take A Survey
Take a survey. Beyond the rhetorical questions, you can also ask a question of your audience. Aim to get an answer by a show of hands and then feed back the audience’s collective opinion to them. It certainly all adds up to a better level of conference audience engagement.
Engage Your Conference Speech Audience With Ease
Your ability to engage with your conference speech audience will justifiably have a pay-off. More interest, more attention, good questions and a lively environment. That's really what we all want with a conference speech.
Of course you can always discover plenty more public speaking tips with our regular series of tips for speakers, podcasts and videos. And with more than 100 top tips available, you should find what your need for your next conference speech. And when you are ready to give your conference speaking skills that extra boost, then you can always consider training or coaching. Because a well-timed public speaking skills session will do wonders for confidence as well as skills. Please don't hesitate to get in touch when the time is right.
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"There is nothing in the world like a persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus and upset the convictions and debauch the emotions of an audience not practiced in the tricks and delusions of oratory."