How to connect with audience and avoid teacher-student connection?”

Source: SCBD Toastmasters Club 

Boring

If you guys still remember my BM#2, I think my connection with the audience is pretty much alike of the connection between teacher and students of which I think is not good because lecturing was not my purpose of speech. Thus my simple question is, how or what to do with this?

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Dear Toastmaster Deddy,

Thank you for your question. I believe a lot of Toastmasters out there also have the same issue and they would thank you a lot for bringing up this topic up front.

There are two parts of your questions: First, how to build a connection with the audience, and second, how to avoid the teacher-student situation during the speech.

The answer for the second one is easier. From my observations, great public speakers rarely invoke teacher-student situation, unless,t hey are giving a lecture. Hehehehe,

And the few techniques that those great speakers use are quite plenty. To name a few would be: not holding any note, not standing behind any lectern, not using power point and read out the words from the slides, and of course, making sure their vocal variety is in fullest extent. The voice should not be a lecturing voice, but more of a friendly voice.

Building a strong connection with the audience, on the other hands, takes a lot of practice and rehearsal. Fortunately for us, in Toastmasters, we have plenty opportunity to do so.

It is as if, the moment we are being a Toastmaster, we are blessed with opportunities to be great speakers, as long as we step up and claim the blessing.

Several suggestions that I could make for making a stronger connection are:

  • Start by knowing your audience, and craft your speech in such a way that is relevant with your audience.
  • Build your speech with powerful introduction. This would help you to catch their attention from the first second of your speech.
  • Maintain eye connection. This is more than just making an eye contact. Look them at the eye, and finish your sentence before moving into another sets of eyes.
  • Pause, pause, and pause !!! especially, prior to important sentences… this will build more suspense for the audience, and they will crave to know you more.
  • Make sure your speech has proper transition, not only between Intro, body, and conclusion, but also between main points and sentences.

The above suggestions need to be rehearsed and put into practice, Ded…

And that’s why making regular prepared speeches in the club will help… because not only you will learn from yourself, but also from the evaluations that your fellow members would give you.

Good luck…

Ask/Sukardi

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