WEEKEND CHALLENGE: Tailoring Your Speech to Keep the Crowd Attentive

Have you given a presentation in which you felt half the audience was sleeping? In the July 2012 edition of Toastmasters Magazine, Tim Cigelske shares tips for overcoming this feeling in “Dealing With A Distracted Audience” (page 8 – 10). In the article, Cigelske provides great tips for encouraging audience participation and guiding them into the appropriate attentiveness. In addition, Denise Graveline provides a sidebar on incorporating Twitter into a speech. Reading the article will greatly help you understand how to prevent droopy eyes syndrome at your next presentation.

Some additional tips that we have found for engaging the audience at our Colonel Ledyard Toastmasters meetings include:

  • Take a seat with your audience.
  • Use your stage fully – leave no section unwalked.
  • Take advantage of vocal variety.
  • Use media to your advantage.
  • Maintain eye contact with everyone in your crowd.

This weekend, as you are telling jokes, preparing for that big presentation you have next week, or are recalling family events with relatives, incorporate these tips into your communication. Walk around your audience so they have to move their eyes to follow you. Raise your voice to show enthusiasm. Lower it to show secrecy. Use technology when possible. Look around the crowd. Join them at their level for a little while. See how this helps your audience to become more engaged with the content you are sharing. Then stop by our Facebook page or below and leave a comment!

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