Public Speaking: Tips to hook your audience

Not everyone can speak and hold their audience like Martin Luther King or Winston Churchill!

Public speaking may feel challenging and may even make you anxious. However, you may not always be in a position to avoid it especially if you’re a professional in today’s competitive world.

When we participate in conferences and deliver presentations, people assume us to be knowledgeable and skillful. And that is what we all aim for!

Here are 8 tips used to hook your audience while you speak.

Ask questions to your audience

Ask questions to your audience at the beginning of your speech. Build curiosity around the question. 

When people want to know the answers, they will pay more attention to you.

Use examples that your audience can relate to

Giving relatable examples to your audience will help the information stick.  With suitable examples, your audience is more likely to understand your deliberation and stay focused on it. 

Focusing on the industry, talking about life experiences helps your audience to relate to you, and therefore pay more attention.

Build suspense as you tell a story

Stories make the world go round! 

The same is the case while speaking publicly. But ensure not to give away the end of the story too soon. 

You can tie it to the middle or end of your speech for a lasting interest.

Involve your audience

Bring people in. You can ask them to raise their hands,  answer questions, or do a small exercise. 

Maintain eye contact with the audience to keep them connected. 

Asking for volunteers from the crowd is a great way to keep the spirits high and maximize interaction.

Lighten up the mood

Use humor when and if appropriate. This will help you and your audience to relax.

Enjoy yourself 

The vibe you give off on stage quickly catches on to your audience. Enjoy yourself. Talk about your favorite elements, stories, and what you enjoy from the topic.

Be energetic 

Avoid reading out from the slides or scripts. Since you already know what you’re talking about, try to put more energy into it. 

If you look uninterested, the audience would do the same.

Ask for feedback and leave the floor open for questions 

This would make people more invested, help you realize how well you did, and will also make them feel heard.

Announcing a question round to be held, in the beginning, would help people prepare for it. Last but not the least, solicit feedback from the audience.

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