I saw Grace Bonney speak at Creative Mornings last week. Grace is founder of the successful blog Design Sponge. She talked about the importance of in-person connection. Her message:
"Real people matter, real life experiences matter, and what happens on the internet matters a whole lot less."
If you have the chance to speak in front of other people, focus on connection and the fact that your audience wants to hear from you. You may not relish being in the spotlight, you might be nervous, but if you have the opportunity to share your work in real life, seize it!
Focus on the fact that you’re talking to other people. And remember that your audience wants to hear from you.
Don’t look like a robot and use these 3 strategies to build connection:
1. Look Them in the Eye
I know it can feel scary standing at the front of the room with all eyes on you. If you’re nervous or shy, eye contact might be the last thing you want to focus on. But consider this:
Your audience wants to know you’re talking to them.
So look them straight in the eye.
People often ask how to make contact with a big room of people. Here's a Tip: Look at one person at a time and tell them a whole thought. Then, move on to another person and tell them your next thought. With practice it will get easier.
If you’re nervous and don’t feel like smiling, do it anyway.
Smiling helps you relax.
It triggers different hormones in the body and when you smile, people in the audience are more likely to smile back at you. It will make the experience more fun, and if you're having fun so will your audience.
3. Be curious
Find out who your audience is and make sure your topic interests them. For instance, you might research them in advance and find out their profession, age range, and educational background. Once you know more about the audience, tailor your content to suit them.
Want more strategies to build your speaking confidence and an opportunity to practice live with other creatives?
Don’t miss the next Speak with Impact Workshop on March 5th! Details and tickets here.