Speaking in front of a crowd has been repeatedly ranked as one of the biggest – if not the biggest – fears out there.
Fear of speaking in public regularly outranks other common fears such as the fear of snakes, the fear of heights and even the fear of pain and loneliness.
Here’s the thing…
If you happen to be a manicurist, a poet or a web designer, there’s little chance you’ll ever have to stand up and speak to others on a public platform.
But what if speeches, seminars, workshops and presentations are a big part of your work?
What if you’re a coach, teacher, entrepreneur, or change maker who must consistently connect with an audience to succeed?
If this is you, sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself in front of an audience and this means you must learn how to captivate and retain attention.
This may sound scary and overwhelming but it’s not. Anyone can learn how to be a masterful speaker by following simple methods that work.
Here are 4 proven, powerful techniques you can use to transform yourself into a masterful speaker.
Technique #1: Follow The 90-Second Rule
This method instantly creates genuine rapport with your audience.
Here’s what you do…
No matter what you’re talking about, no matter who your audience is, make it your personal objective to entertain, motivate or pay tribute to your listeners within the first 90 seconds of your speech or presentation.
You can do this by telling a joke, sharing a motivational quote, or just sharing how much you appreciate that your audience took time out of their busy lives to attend your talk.
When you focus on entertaining, motivating and paying tribute, you’ll get people to sit up and take notice right from the start.
And you’ll easily create an emotional bond that will capture their hearts and minds as you lead them through the rest of your talk.
Technique #2: Get Real
Think back to a time when you were bored out of your mind at a seminar, speech or presentation.
Try to picture the speaker in your mind. What do you notice about him or her? How did they express themselves? What did they sound like?
Chances are, they demonstrated very little emotion or maybe even none at all in their voice and facial expressions.
This is one of the biggest mistakes rookie speakers make when they’re up on stage or in front of a crowd.
Whether you’re trying to motivate, inspire or share critical facts and data, emotions play an essential role in your success as a speaker.
Appropriate emotions will connect you to your audience like nothing else can. This is true even if you’re talking to a group of detached, corporate professionals.
While you should definitely hold back from going too far - breaking down in tears or losing your temper, for instance - it’s a massive plus when you tap into your emotions to fuel your words.
When you allow yourself to add feelings to a speech or presentation, you’ll easily draw your audience to your message and motivate them to care about what you have to say.
Technique #3: Tell Tales
As humans, we’re wired to respond to stories.
Telling a tale or two during your speech is a powerful way to capture attention and magnetize your audience.
To integrate this technique into your next speech, take a closer look at what you want to say.
Look for places where you can easily and naturally include examples and metaphors. This is where a suitable personal experience or parable will work well.
Watch popular TED talks on YouTube to get a feel for how this works.
All masterful speakers include stories in their talks and so should you.
Technique #4: Highlight the Pluses
Have you ever opened your eyes in the morning and said to yourself, “Yes! I get to attend a seminar/presentation/talk today!”
Neither have I. Neither has anyone in the history of humanity.
I can pretty much guarantee that.
You must assume that people are not naturally excited or enthusiastic about listening to your speech.
And you must understand that your main job is to change that.
One of the most effective ways to do this is to answer the question every audience member is subconsciously asking themselves…
What’s in it for me?
Share the benefits they will receive from listening to you, and do this as soon as you can.
When your audience has a clear idea on what they can gain from you, they’ll be motivated to keep listening. They’ll be happy to give you their precious time and attention.
And that’s the biggest reward any speaker can hope to receive.
Whether you’re speaking to 3 people, 30, 3,000 or 3 million, an emotional connection is the element that will hold attention and sustain focus…
And these techniques help you create that connection.
Try these masterful techniques the next time you have an opportunity to stand up in front of a crowd. You’ll be surprised at how a few minor tweaks can make a major difference in your ability to wow a crowd.