“95% of the people in an audience understand what's being communicated and agree with the speaker's point of view. However, they do not know how to apply what's being said to their lives.” (John Maxwell, “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”)
Most speakers know how to deliver a great message. However many forget one key step: Giving their audience the tangible details to apply.
You need to take your audience from “Know How” to “Do Now”.
The acronym to use is for the word A.C.T.
Think about your last speech. Do you know what the listener was thinking as you spoke? Were there distracted people? People on the edge of their seats? Did they laugh? Did they nod in approval of your message?
Whether you believe in psychics or not, you must become a mind reader.
Yes, I said it. You need to learn to read your audience's mind. Why? Because if you don't you will not know if they are really “with you” when you speak. I have seen people actually text while they were listening to me before. Not a great feeling. It is a truly humbling and disappointing feeling to see that look in someone's eyes that says “I wonder when this speech is going to wrap up.” Not good. Thankfully, that doesn't happen anymore (not that I can see anyways).
Hey, there will always be someone that you don't connect with (Speaker Les Brown says that 1 out of 10 will NEVER connect with you). However, there are 3 ways to “read your audience's mind”. When you say something, and your audience is thinking it as well, you will make a connection that is unbeatable! Your audience will laugh with you, they will feel with you, and they will make that “hmmm” sound that tells you that they are on the same page – the page YOU want them to be on.
Try to learn one new word per week. Grow your vocabulary. Explore the richness of the English language...
Just leave the complex words out of your speeches.
Author John Maxwell says it this way...
“As leaders and communicators, our job is to bring clarity to a subject, not complexity. The measure of a great teacher isn't what he or she knows, it's what the students know.”
When you Speak, it is important to reach your entire audience. If you don't, you will leave some listeners disconnected from you and your message.
Everyone is different, but ensuring that you have the following 3 elements in your speeches, will allow you to connect with your audience members on various levels.
“Thoughts disentangle themselves through the lips and fingertips.” (Dawson Trotman...and Michael Hyatt)
If you are a Speaker, you NEED to write as well.
The reverse may not be true, but Writing will feed your Speaking. It does not have to be a book, blog or anything that you publish, but getting your thoughts on paper will give you inspiration, and answer that age old question that many speakers have, “What should I talk about?”
Kwesi Millington helps speakers, presenters and youth to connect with their audiences and master their messages using the power of storytelling in their speeches & presentations. He is a Certified Public Speaking Coach & Youth Mentor.