Monday, July 16, 2007

Public Speaking : Rapport

Not all of us are going to be wizards in the technical aspect of public speaking, I know. Even those who have been presenting for years still make diction, stance, dress, body language, and word choice mistakes. What makes a great public speaker is not the size of his cape, so go ahead and stop running around the house in yours. Instead, giving the audience a plan, something to work with immediately, and a reason to trust in your advice are probably of the two most important aspects of public speaking.

To build trust with you public speaking audience develop some medium that demonstrates your credentials; do what you say you’re going to do before the meeting, and in a helpful manner; and admit when you don’t know something—it’s better to admit ignorance to something than to pretend to be knowledgeable only to be called out later.

Developing a good rapport with the meeting planner and audience will work wonders for your public speaking engagement. The planner will appreciate it when you come early and leave after all the donuts have been eaten…I mean, um, all the chairs stacked. And if during your preplanning you call 15 of the audience members, like I’ve suggested in the past, you will find out how excited they are to talk to you. Really. The next day at work they’ll be dropping your name as though they were getting paid for it!

When your public speaking audience members feel you genuinely care about their needs and goals, they will be more likely to listen to what you have to say. You won’t have to be technically perfect if your audience loves you!

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