Public speaking – keeping your audience engaged (& awake)

The awful fact about being boring is that you don’t know you are. So, as a public speaker you will have your share of individuals who, in the midst of the attentive, will be totally disinterested, or looking out of the window, asleep, talking or engaging themselves in a disagreeable habit.. But what if everyone looks a bit bored?

As I have said recently, it is your duty, as the entertainer, to be interesting; but sometimes a lack of audience interest may not be your fault. Charities are a good source of speakers for social groups; but although they all represent different type of charity, to an audience who have listened to many of them before you, you are yet another speaker who wants their money. (The way out of this one is to start by saying that you are not here to ask for money. Everyone is so surprised or disbelieving that they will listen just to try and catch you out.)

If your speech or talk is not engaging your audience, you must act immediately. Sometimes asking a question helps or a change in your speaking style – you may be too formal or informal. You should know your subject well enough to be able to amend your delivery in a seamless way that no one should notice.

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