I love to interact with the audience. It is much easier now that
wireless microphones are so readily available. I can go right
into the audience, I can sit in one of their chairs, I can sit on
an audience member's lap if I want to (by now you should have
realized that I am inclined to be totally irreverent if I know
the audience can handle it).
You don't have to be as wild as I sometimes am to get the job
done. You can calmly go into the audience with a wireless
handheld microphone. Let the audience members ask their questions
directly to you while you hold the mic to their mouths so that
everyone else can hear. (Don't forget to bring the microphone
back to your mouth for the answer.)
Another technique I use frequently is to speak directly to one
audience member. It goes like this, "Sharon, this is just between
you and me." Whenever I do this, I can see out of the corner of
my eye everyone else killing themselves to eavesdrop on Sharon
and me. They feel like they are getting to hear something secret.
One-on-one interplay is also good when you are teasing or doing a
little roast humor on someone in the group. "Joe, lots of people
believe that you are one of the top sales managers in the
company. . . . Lots of people believe in the Easter Bunny too!"
I'll go right up to someone in the audience and touch them on the
shoulder while I'm talking (don't do this in Asia). I might say
(reading their nametag to get the name) "John here may have the
highest sales volume, but if his net income is no good, John is
not a happy guy."
Some speakers make up skits and give the audience members easy,
but funny, parts to play. This is just an advanced form of role-
Don't be afraid to get right in there and get your audience
involved, physically, mentally, and emotionally and you will be
on your way to becoming a NO ZZZZZs presenter.
Get TONS of Public Speaking Training CDs