Speaking Tip #80
There was a man speaking on the stage. I could see his lips move, but I could not hear his voice. When several audience members shouted for him to use the microphone, he laughed replying “You can hear me just fine” and continued talking. The problem was that few really could hear.
This speaker had made two simple yet common mistakes, and in doing so, lost the attention of the audience:
1) He put his comfort and desires ahead of those of the audience.
2) He ASSUMED that because he was speaking, everyone wanted to hear what he had to say.
I think most of us wanted to hear what he had to say. When faced with the problem of not being able to hear, the audience had to choose what to do. Most of the audience gave up, relaxed back into their seats and continued doing what they were doing before he took the stage: conversing with their neighbors.
This speaker had lost the audience.
A speaker is there to serve the audience. It is the responsibility of the speaker to insure the audience is comfortable, can see, and hear.
Look at the better speakers of our modern day: do you notice the President (any president) standing on a stage shouting rather than wearing a microphone? When you watch the late Bill Gates or a TED talk, do you notice how large a screen is used? Even concerts and sporting events make it easier for spectators to see and hear the action.
Before an audience will listen to your ideas and consider your point, you have to grab their attention and demonstrate your credibility. If they cannot hear you or if you demonstrate you do not care about your audience, you will lose before you have started.
Do not lose the battle over the small things. Take time to plan your presentation so it works, take care of your audience, and make sure they are comfortable and can see and hear you. This won’t bring them to your side, but it does put them in a position where your good words can do their magic.
© 2012 iSpeakEASY – All Rights Reserved This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.
- 6 Ways To Lose Your Audience In The First 10 Seconds (ispeakeasyblog.wordpress.com)
- The Single Most Important Speaking Tip (ispeakeasyblog.wordpress.com)
- How Much Time Do You Really Have To Grab Their Attention? (ispeakeasyblog.wordpress.com)
- On Buying Aspirin And Public Speaking (ispeakeasyblog.wordpress.com)
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