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8 Tips to Keep Your Audience in Attention

You are a guest speaker invited to highlight an important occasion. You could be the keynote speaker or the guest of honor. You were most likely selected due to your popularity and / or accomplishments. Your profession or line of achievement must have been in some way related to the occasion in order for you to be invited. These 8 tips will help to keep your audience in attention.

Never mind the reason, simply know that you were invited because you were perceived to be an authority in your field. To convey a long lasting impression to the audience, you need to discover ways to keep the audience attention glued to you.

If it so happens that you are the invited guest speaker of a gathering, the tips below will help to keep your audience glued to their seats while you mesmerize them with your oratorical prowess.

1. Speak clearly using a crisp and comprehensible voice. Ensure that your tone is enthusiastic. Avoid mumbling. Try not to swallow your words as if there’s gum in your mouth.

2. Your speech should be congruent with the aim of the gathering, touching on matters which are relevant to its objective and applicable to current desires for the benefit of the majority.

  • Free Public Speaking Tip - Keeping Your Audience Engaged
    YouTube Video
    Free Public Speaking Tip - Keeping Your Audience Engaged
3. Inject humor into your speech to keep the audience entertained and relaxed. Studies reveal that, when humor is involved, audiences find the speaker interesting to listen to. Your choice of humor should ideally avoid sensitive matters such as sex, politics or religion because this may unintentionally embarrass others or be misunderstood by them. Then again, if this is a political rally, speaking about politics would be unavoidable. This might raise comments that criticize your speech. Try your best to avoid denigrating anyone in your speech.

4. When you highlight an issue, a good way to project it is by supporting your point with instances or examples. Associate the example and the issue to make it easily understandable to the audience.

5. Suppose the gathering was organized to save an industry or uplift the spirit of those who will be inadvertently affected by it. Try your best to deliver an inspiring speech. A presentation packed with positive feelings, such as projecting a brighter future, can turn a depressive frame of mind into an enthusiastic one. If you have a solution, then say it.

6. Audience participation may appear to turn your speech into a two-way discussion, but this is an effective way to confirm the effectiveness of your presentation. Therefore, participate wholeheartedly in such discussions without fear.

7. Paint a positive image on how the industry will look like in 5 years in the minds of the audience when you speak. Be specific and practical in your projection. If some sacrifices or hard work is called for, say so.

8. Leave a lasting, meaningful message as you conclude your speech. A memorable speech is one that leaves your audience thinking long after the speech has been made. Such speeches will leave an indelible mark in the minds of the audience for a long time.

6 Tips for a Keynote Speaker

As you rise to high levels of leadership in your community, you are bound to be invited as a keynote speaker to highlight some important occasion. You could be the keynote speaker or the guest of honor. This “career progression” is inevitable. It’s going to happen to you some day. You will be most likely selected due to your popularity and / or achievements. Your profession or nature of accomplishment must have been in some way related to the occasion in order for you to be invited.

Regardless of the reason, know that you were invited because your community had held you in a high level of admiration or respect. To leave a long lasting impression on the audience, you need to improvise methods to keep their attention glued to you.

  • Toronto Keynote Speaker, Nina Spencer:  6 tips before conferences
    YouTube Video
    Toronto Keynote Speaker, Nina Spencer: 6 tips before conferences
The good news is, by virtue of their respect for you, they will, to a certain extent give you their full attention anyway. However, you can’t take things for granted & expect them to be attentive towards you throughout your entire speech. It is said that with each year of a person’s age, his attention span will grow by one minute. Therefore, theoretically speaking, 15 years old kids will generally start to lose their concentration after 15 minutes if you do nothing about it. It’s also said that after 20 minutes, regardless of the age of the person, this growth in attention span starts to taper out.

Therefore, if you are the invited guest speaker of an event, the suggestions below may help to keep your audience listening instead of mentally “tuning out.”

Keynote Speaker Tip 1

Speak in a clear, crisp & comprehensible voice with an enthusiastic tone. The audience must feel the essence of your emotions through your enthusiasm. Avoid mumbling. Try not to swallow your words as if there’s a gum in your mouth. In order for you to know whether you are guilty of any of the above, make an audio recording of your speech using your mobile phone. Pass this recording to a friend in order to get an (hopefully) unbiased opinion about your speech.

Keynote Speaker Tip 2

Your speech should be congruent with the purpose of the gathering, touching on issues relevant to its objective and applicable to the current needs of the audience. This would certainly require you to do some homework prior to attending the event. If you are a member of a Toastmasters Club, you could do a test run of your speech there & get unbiased feedback from the qualified evaluators. If you are not a Toastmaster yet, it’s about time you became one today.

Keynote Speaker Tip 3

Incorporate humor into your presentation to keep the audience alert. Studies reveal that, when humor is used, audiences find the speaker interesting to listen to. A note of caution though. Your humor must be relevant to the subject matter. Only then it will look natural & be meaningful. Try your best to use humor to reinforce your message rather that to use it simply to make people laugh. Remember, this is not a stand-up comedy session. This is a keynote address.

Keynote Speaker Tip 4

When you raise an issue, a suggested way to project it is by citing instances or examples. Correlate the example and the issue clearly. You could follow the following structure which goes by the acronym P.R.E.P.
P – Point. State your point.
R – Reason. State your reason.
E – Example. State an example.
P – Point. State your point once more.

Keynote Speaker Tip 5

As a keynote speaker or guest of honour, you will be most likely required to deliver an inspiring / motivational speech. Therefore, strive to deliver a speech filled with positive thoughts like forecasting a bright tomorrow. You have the power to turn a depressive atmosphere into an enthusiastic one. If you are well versed with the industry & have a good proposal to make, then say it. In the process of suggesting your proposal, plant the image in the minds of the audience as to how the industry will look like 5 or 10 years from now. Plant the image of positivity. Be specific and realistic in your projection. If hard work is required, say so. Sometimes, it pays to call a spade a spade 🙂

Keynote Speaker Tip 6

Leave a lasting, meaningful message as you conclude your speech. In order to do this effectively, try to end your speech with a personal story that reinforces your message. Personal stories have a queer way of lingering in the minds of people long after the speech is over. Such speeches will also leave the audience remembering you for a loooooooooong time…

All the best to you in your next keynote address. Remember, it was no accident that you were selected as guest of honour. It was meant to be…

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Finding A Good Keynote Speaker

A keynote speech is a talk that lays the foundation of the main underlying theme. It establishes the framework for the subsequent program of events or convention agenda. A keynote speech also serves to emphasize a larger idea.

Therefore, a keynote speaker needs to know exactly how to cater the talk to suit the occasion. From an angler’s point of view, it’s all about baiting the hook to suit the fish.

Now that you have understood what the keynote orator is supposed to do, here are some suggestions on how to find a good one.

  • TED's secret to great public speaking | Chris Anderson
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    TED's secret to great public speaking | Chris Anderson
Confirm the date, venue and budget of your event. These factors will significantly impact the pool of keynote speakers available to you. Your date, for instance, will affect which keynote speakers are available, whereas your budget will limit whom you can and can’t afford to employ. In order to reduce the cost of the keynote speaker’s transportation, you will probably have to examine the distance between where he or she lives and the location of your event.

Establish the type of presentation you want and the time of day when it will take place. Do also mention the time limit of the speech. You wouldn’t want the speaker to ramble for hours, would you?

Here’s something to think about. Just because a particular speaker is skilled in debates, doesn’t necessarily make him / her good at providing keynotes. I’ve observed how some politicians spew the political agenda at fund raising campaigns of homeless kids instead of delivering a speech that was relevant to homeless kids. Therefore, it would be a good idea to feed the keynote speaker with some relevant facts about your organization, event, dignitaries, mission statement, etc in order for them to cook up a good speech. The core decision makers in your organization will be able to guide you based on their vision.

Clarify in your mind why you want to hire a keynote speaker. Some common reasons include the desire to:
Educate
Motivate
Persuade
Take action
Raise funds
Promote a cause or organization
Entertain

If you have a record of past keynote speakers who have been successful with your group or a group similar to yours, very good. If you don’t, well you’ve got to start somewhere. Get in touch with a Toastmasters club in your neighborhood. They will be able to point you in the right direction. Alternatively, post a message on your Facebook.

Consider the demographics of your audience. Do you need a keynote speaker who will appeal to a general audience or one who will interest a specific demographic group (e.g., an all-men’s group)? Again, it’s about baiting the hook to suit the fish 🙂

Now that you have gained some useful pointers on how to find a keynote speaker, I encourage you not to stop here. Why not become one? Keep “sharpening your saw” by getting practical experience on public speaking. Grab the opportunity to speak in public as often as possible. The more stage time you accrue, the higher your self-esteem and confidence will become. Do purchase my book called The Fearless Speaker at http://www.betterpublicspeaking.com/fearless-public-speaking-2/ This 11,500+ word book will give you more pointers towards becoming a seasoned orator. I look forward to that wonderful day in your life when you will become ‘complete’ and you will discover your true purpose in this world. May you discover it through your public speaking endeavors.

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The area under discourse “english speech” appears to be a ideal area of interest among our fans. Last week we acknowledged quite a few wishes via email to elaborate more on this topic. Rest assured that this region of focus has been adequately covered either directly or indirectly at the link on top. If you did not find specifically what you were looking for at the link above, it’s most probable that we did not fully comprehend precisely what you meant by this matter. The other likelihood is we may not be well-informed to speak on this subject matter in the first place.

All the best to you in all facets of your life 🙂