Have A Conversation With Your Audience

I am conversational – I just like to engage and talk about things. – Caroline Rhea

Have a Conversation

We all know how painful it is to watch someone deliver a speech either that has been scripted or that they have memorized word for word. The speaker sounds stiff, dry and unnatural and is frankly usually quite boring to listen to.

At one point or another in our lives, we have all been that speaker whether it was during a high school speech or a presentation in our professional career.

How do we go from being that uncomfortable, awkward speech reader to an eloquent speaker that people actually like to listen to? One of the best ways to accomplish this is to practice your speech with a friend in the tone of a conversation.

Why it Works

Giving a speech that engages people takes hard work. It is unnatural to be natural when it comes to public speaking. For this reason, you need to start practicing your speech in front of your friends and family in a conversational mode.

Write an outline of your main points and just start talking to them as if it were a normal conversation. First of all, you will have a safe place to practice without all the pressure that will make you nervous, and you can get constructive feedback on your presentations. You can gauge how well they like your content by their body language. If they look bored and are looking around the room, then it’s probably not so good. If they are nodding, smiling and looking you in the eye, then you are on the right track.

Also, your friends can help you with the planning of your speech and can also point out if something is lacking or needs revising. For instance, maybe there was a point that could have been added to your speech that would be beneficial or something that could be cut out as it was somewhat off topic.

Stay open to suggestions and remember that more feedback you get, the better. Some of the best speeches are really crafted by an entire team of people and hours of work.  After you get close to your final draft, relentlessly practice your speech in conversation mode, you will feel more relaxed about your topic and will deliver a more natural speech.

When you give a speech in a conversational mode, you become more believable and more likable.  It puts you and the audience more at ease. In the video, How to Sound Natural When Giving a Speech, Bonnie Gross gives pointers on how to deliver your presentation with ease.

You also become more confident and you will start speaking from the heart and not from the script. You want to be authentic and not come across as a robot regurgitating a typed up speech. If you are not getting the feedback or response that you would like from your audience, I urge to stop reading speeches and have a conversation.

So what do you think?  Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

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Storytelling: Win Over Any Audience

Storytelling is a powerful way to enhance your message and get your audience to identify with you. Every day we tell stories to evoke reactions from others, we are trying to persuade, entertain or impress. When you tell stories rather than just spout out boring facts, you disarm your audience, reach people at their level and make others feel less threatened.

Why does this work?

People want to be a part of something more; they want to relate to innate human emotions.  The more relevant the story or the characters in the story to real life, the more effective it is.  Storytelling is also more enduring and makes teaching easier to remember and easier to apply. For those reasons, this is a good strategy for a business meeting or presentation. Your audience is more likely to make a connection with you and to agree with you.  Also, they are more likely to leave the meeting remembering the majority of your major points. Often when you are telling a story, you are getting your point across and into the heads of your audience without them even knowing it.  In the video Using Storytelling to Make a Point, Doug Stevenson shows how “hiding your message in a story” can be very effective.

Use it Everyday

This method of persuasion can also be used when dealing with your boss, your co-workers and in your everyday life.  For example, if you want to approach your boss to have a discussion about changes you feel need to take place in the office, you have a much greater chance of success using anecdotes rather than what might come across as a lecture. In fact, to improve communication in the workplace, more and more large companies are teaching and encouraging executives how to effectively use relatable stories.

If you need some convincing take a look around you at social events; people are crowded around the person that has the great stories to tell, people are drawn to it.  If you have never been a story teller and you think that you can’t do this, don’t worry, you can. Fortunately, anyone can become a good story teller, but it does require preparation and practice. The biggest hurdle for people is making that first leap out of your comfort zone, but once you make that jump, it becomes easier and easier.  Remember to make your delivery with confidence and authority as that will be another key element in getting your audience to trust you.

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” –Robert McKee 


If you want your audience to trust you, relate to you and to agree with you, use the storytelling technique in your next meeting or presentation. If this sounds daunting to you, at least try it with one person in the next few days and I know you will be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. The positive response you get will motivate you to take it to the next level.

So what do you think?  (Post your thoughts and questions in the comments below.)

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A New Beginning…

Hello and welcome to “Speaking With No Fear!”

Photo via Pixbay

My name is Dave Griessmann and I’m a speaker who is passionate and enthusiastic about the topic.

I launched this website to share my experiences as I explore expanding my knowledge of public speaking and also to share with you what has worked and what has not.

I’ve learned some amazing techniques that you can fine here and incorporate into your next talk.

Currently I’m in the process of getting everything up and running but stick with me. I’ll have everything going in no time!

In the mean time you can subscribe to my newsletter now and never miss an update!


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