It’s the moment you have been preparing for; you just walked on stage, your audience is silent, and everyone is waiting for you to open your mouth and begin your presentation. The truth is your audience will begin judging you the moment you step on stage so it’s crucial to win them over right from the start. Here are 3 tips for wowing your audience and winning them over with power and confidence.
Focus on Emotion
Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” The ability to win over your audience is not as much about what you say, as to how you say it. If you step on stage with confidence, your audience will have confidence in you too. Believe it or not, you have a huge impact on how your audience will feel. That’s why it’s important to try and connect with them right from the start. Telling a story is a great way to evoke emotion with your audience. You have the ability to make them laugh, cry, or listen with amazement as you share a compelling story. Remember, your audience may have come for a lecture…but you can leave them with an experience.
You can spend countless hours preparing your speech, picking out the perfect outfit, and rehearsing. In the end what you really need to be focusing on is just being yourself. Audiences prefer genuine authenticity to fake, pompous, or boring speakers. This allows people to connect with you on a personal level and it also helps you to stay grounded so you can speak with confidence. If you can find the courage to allow yourself to “just be you,” much of the tension around public speaking dissolves. When you stop focusing on who you think you should be, you relax and become real. This kind of authenticity is what allows you to become a speaker who touches other people.
Say or Do Something Amazing
Avoid starting your presentation with a line like, “Thank you so much for having me.” This is way too common and will immediately bore your audience. Remember, this is your moment to shine so start your presentation with power. Find something unique, memorable, and engaging to say. You can do this by giving your audience a shocking or amazing fact. You can show an image or use a prop that will evoke emotion in your audience. You can even tell a personal story that will resonate with audiences. People love the unexpected and this is what will make an impact and help you win over your audience.