Top 3 Tips for Engaging Audiences in Public Speaking, by Haris Ahmed of Chicago
Haris Ahmed, Chicago change expert and PR consultant, has been invited by numerous institutions for speaking engagements. As a businessman, he knows the importance of honing his public speaking skills as these greatly help him communicate more effectively with his clients. In this post, Haris Ahmed of Chicago shares his top three tips for keeping audiences engaged during your speech.
One of the biggest hurdles to effective public speaking is keeping your audience engaged. You may have, at one point or another, been subjected to the ordeal of having to listen to a speaker go on and on about a topic you can’t even remember now, says Haris Ahmed of Chicago. There may have also been times when the speaker was so entertaining and engaging that you not only were able to learn something from the speech, but you also found the time too short for such an engaging speaker—perhaps to the point of shouting, “Encore! Encore!”
Apart from body language and gestures, the more important aspect of your speech is what’s in it. To engage your audience, Haris Ahmed of Chicago shares these three tips:
1. Talk about what you know – In most cases, professionals are invited to speak before an audience because they have something of value to share. Haris reminds everyone that not every speaking engagement you’re invited to is worth your time. This is particularly so when you’ve been invited to talk about something you don’t know—or even vaguely know. Know your areas of expertise and specialization, and stick to speaking engagements that will allow you to showcase these to the audience. No matter how much research you do, if you’re only learning about the topic now, you’d best skip on the invitation, suggests Haris Ahmed of Chicago.
2. Be original – Nothing is more disengaging than repeating information you’ve taken out from books—especially popular books that the audience may have already read (unless you’re the author of the book, and your purpose is to talk about it). It’s okay to cite quotes from books of famous authors to drive a point across; but if you simply stick to what has been written in books, your audience might feel that your speech was a total waste of time.
3. Make it personal – One of the things that audiences love and appreciate is the speaker’s openness about their own experiences. When you talk from the heart about your own struggles, for instance, the audience may feel an instant connection with you, and therefore, they may listen more attentively to what else you must say.
Haris would also like to add here that you should be careful about your language; always talk from a place of respect, and avoid profanity as much as possible. Get to know your audience before the day of your speech, so you can compose your speech in a way that will make them more receptive
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