Public Speaking – A formula to engage YOUR AUDIENCE

This is an AI generated transcript so please forgive any errors and spelling mistakes. 

Hi, Shola here. I want to ask you a question, which is, what do you do when you’re in front of the audience? And they don’t seem to be in the right mood, or in the right state of mind, to listen, and to absorb your message? Before I answer that question, Let me first of all introduce myself because I’m Shola Kaye, I’m a public speaker coach, and also a professional keynote speaker based in London with clients around the world. And I also am a professional performer.

What I want to share with you today is a little storey about my time in the performance world and What I’ve taken from that to the world of public speaking, and how that applies to engaging your audience. Especially when they seem like they’re not in the mood to listen to what it is that you’ve got to say.

Now, a couple of years ago, I was performing in front of a group of people who had literally just finished watching a football match. Now, it wasn’t just any football match, they had been watching the European Cup final, anyone out there who hates football, just close your eyes for a couple of minutes. But there is a point to this storey because I don’t particularly like football either. If you’re in America of talking about soccer. This audience have just finished watching the European Cup final. And Liverpool, one of the UK soccer teams have been playing in this final. And they had lost. Everyone was very excited the beginning, thinking they were going to win. It was looking great. And then at the end, they lost. What do you think the impact was on the audience of watching this match where the home side last week was in a very good mood. And there I was coming out off to the football match to sing and entertain and uplift. The audience weren’t in the mood for what I had for them what was in store for them. And it was very clear as I began, but they weren’t having any of it. They were sitting there looking pretty miserable down in the in the dumps. And I could tell that I was going to have a bit of a job on my hands unless I took control the situation.

So after I sang a couple of songs and they weren’t responding, I thought okay, I need to do something about this. So I stopped and I said to them: Hey, guys, How you feeling? You okay? They nodded looking a bit miserable. I said, are you sad because Liverpool lost the match? And they know that, yes, they’re sad. I said okay, I might do a couple of ballads then. Because there’s a big difference between me singing really up tempo stuff, and you being miserable versus me singing some things that are going to kind of send your spirits and meet you where you are. They were okay with that. So, I diverged from my original set list. And I signed a few kind of mid tempo, more downbeat teams. And they sort of drown the storeys and a few drinks protesting to each other. And then gradually, I upped the tempo and moved back slowly towards my original setlist, which was up tempo party to us, people having a great time. And as I changed from being a bit more downbeat, to gradually taking things up for them, or go this way, taking them up. They responded to that. Then eventually, by the end of the evening, everybody was up dancing, having a great time. I wouldn’t say that forgotten that their team had lost, but it was moved more towards the back of their mind. They were back in the present moment, enjoying the time with me and our time together.

Public speaking – observe and ASSESS the audience

So what can we learn from that and apply to our public speaking? Quite often, when we go out there, and there’s an audience that’s not quite ready, they’re not in the right mood or the right energy to receive the presentation with prepared, we just sort of bloody mindedly carry on, just get through this, this is what I rehearsed so I’m going to do it. That’s all very well. But your presentation may not have the impact that it could have had if they were in the right mood. So I suggest that what you do is, is this have just created a little little formula, a little framework that you can follow when this happens.

The first thing you want to do is when you’re up there in front of them, you want to assess: Are they ready for this method? What’s happened today that might have got in the way or got between you as the speaker, and then that will prevent you from doing your job and taking the way you want to take them? Assess. You may be in the audience Earlier on that day. And here’s something that was delivered to the audience that will, would that changed their perspective or change their energy? Or perhaps they’ve just had a big lunch and they’re sluggish? Okay, so your job is as the speaker to assess the audience.

Public speaking – VERIFY: breaking the fourth wall

Maybe before you go on, or definitely while you’re on there, if you see that they’re not responding, then you may want to verify that. That may involve you stepping out of your role as the speaker that Fullmer and actually interacting with them, which is sometimes referred to as breaking the fourth wall, you’re going out there, Instead of saying, well, I’m an actor, and I’m here and do my thing, or I’m a performer, speaker, reach out to them have a conversation. In which case, you might say, I prepared x y&z for you. Are you ready for that? How you doing? What have you heard today that’s pulling you in this mood? Are you feeling sluggish? Is this material a little bit too downbeat for you? Or what do you just asking the right questions, as pertains to your situation, To figure out where the audience is, and to get them to become willing partners with you, rather than to have the sort of wrestling match where you want to go one direction, and they’re kind of resisting. That’s the second step.

Public speaking – MATCH their energy

Then once you’ve assessed that, ideally, you’re going to match them, you’re going to go to where they are, because it’s hard to lead anyone anywhere, unless you start from where they are. Okay? If you are in one place, And then another, you could say, well, Hey, guys, come here, come here, it’s brilliant, he just smile, be happy, It’s great in this place, but for better for you to go where they are, and and take them with you. So at that point, the third step, after you’ve assessed and you verified, The third point is to match them to match their energy, understand where they are, be where they are, and get where they are. Okay, and let them see that you understand, and you’re feeling that same. You’re in that same space as then you’ll present to them.

Public speaking – MOVE them forward

And Finally, once you have been with them and kind of hotkeys occupy the same space, whether it’s mentally or energetically with them for a while, That’s when you’re in a position to start to lead them to a new place. But you lead them from where they are, rather than dragging them over to you.

So those are the four steps. So first of all, you assess where they are, you verify that with them. Perhaps if you are in a position where this is before you start to speak and you’re chatting to a few audience members, maybe you don’t need to verify with the whole audience, you might just chat to a small start the small sample. And that’s enough to verify Yeah, okay, indeed, that’s where they are. This is what they need to do to change. But you verify. At that point, you go to them Right up at their energy. And then finally, you move them forward, you move them to where you want them to go, Originally, with a bit backs with a transition that he hadn’t originally thought you need in your presentation. It could be it could just be with a transition in the way that you present yourself a transition in your energy instead of a transition with your actual words being changed. But It’s your job to really get the audience and to and to understand where they’re coming from. Because Your time is wasted. If you’re spent in a different place than they are energetically trying to drag them forward. And they don’t go, you’ll be frustrated. They’ll be frustrated. So far better to meet them in their space, and then take them where you want to take them.

I hope that makes sense. And I hope you weren’t too turned off by my little storey about Liverpool football. Soccer as much as I do. I don’t hate it. But if you ignore it as much as I do, then you may have been slightly turned off by that. But anyway, hope you managed to get through it to the other side and that that tip was useful to you. I am signing off now.

But before I Go, I Do you have a live event which is online for you to access Pretty much You can sign up and then join me live. If there isn’t one planned, then you will see that there will be a an ondemand master class that you can take part in. It’s primarily for business owners, anybody who wants to speak to grow a business to share a message. You might will find that there are some tips and tricks there that are useful to you. So please do go to Shola slash live hyphen event and sign up and hopefully I’ll see you either online or on the on demand masterclass. That’s it for now. But Remember to meet your audience where they are. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them and figure out the space that they’re in, And then go where they are. Because you’re there to serve your audience.

Take care, bye.


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