How To Shine On Stage
Date: September 29, 2015
So you don’t want to just be a public speaker, you want to shine on stage, people to look and admire you, people to nod their heads in agreement at your comments, and laugh at your witty jokes.
The number one rule to achieving all of this is to be kind to your audience and appreciate them for taking the time to come out and watch you. Gratitude is the best place to begin and end your speech. People don’t like others who consider themselves the big shot and don’t respect their audience.
As soon as you step on stage, thank them for taking time out of their day to see you. To be likable you have to be kind to others. If the opportunity lends itself, speak to members of the audience before your performance.
So you’re standing there, looking out into a room full of wide-eyed people, who are waiting patiently for you to open your mouth and speak. Giving an introduction into why you’re there and what you’ll be talking about will keep them engaged and keep them following you.
That being said, you don’t need a formal introduction. An entrance that leads with your best content will keep everyone interested right from the get go. Starting with your funniest jokes, personal stories and best lines doesn’t make it so bad if people start yawning half way through.
It’s not just the content of your entrance that’s significant. If you look bored, unhappy and lifeless, you’ll find you’ll quickly be talking to a room full of empty seats. And don’t get upset if people do walk out during your performance – they may have valid reasons, or perhaps your content was only for the light-hearted. Either way, always know who you’ll be talking to so you can avoid making any mistakes like this.
Research your audience. Be great at knowing who you’re talking to, but not just the basic facts, thoroughly research the organisation’s background, achievements and failures. If you’re talking about aspects people care about and relate to, you’re more likely to keep everyone’s attention.
Public speaking is a very rewarding career, but you won’t always be liked by everyone – including your audience. Don’t let it affect your performance if you know you’ll be in the room with someone who doesn’t take too kindly to you.
But, people don’t like to see other people fail, especially not right before their eyes. You’re in a room with supportive people – they want to hear what you have to say and they appreciate you taking the time to come out.
If anything happens to suggest you’re not liked, don’t let it ruin your performance. You’ve worked hard to get to this point. Don’t shout abusive comments back, or approach them afterwards and cause a scene. Ignore it and continue with your routine.
You have to prepare yourself for the occasional sniggering and conversations hidden behind palms. That’s normal and they won’t always implying any hate from it.
You can’t be self-conscious and worry what people are thinking of you. If you are this type of person, remind yourself how much more enjoyable your life will be if you care less about what others think. You don’t need other people’s approval to be a success.
To keep your audience engaged, you have to be talking and performing like you’re happy to be there. Complaining about being up all night working or looking like you’re run down, will make people feel guilty for having you there. No matter if this is true, don’t show it. If that means drinking 2 espressos to prevent yourself collapsing on stage… do what it takes.
There will be moments where you forget your lines and not everyone laughs at your jokes, but that’s all perfectly normal. You may even trip on a step whilst going on stage, but 30 seconds later, everyone’s forgotten it and you’re back on track.
Go out there to make a difference and leave people feeling connected. As long as you’ve done that, you’ve done your job.