At a recent workshop for speakers, one session covered connecting with your audience. The speaker discussed how important the use of words is to create visual images ensuring you connect with your audience. He emphasized trying to find some common experiences with the audience to start your “verbal painting of a pictures.” He gave several good examples on how the use of words can paint a connection with your audience. As he gave the training, he was omitting one major aspect of connecting with your audience.
Have you ever had a computer read documents to you? A lot of the tablets, as well as the new Mac OS, have reading functions built into the system. The computer says all the right words but there are no voice inflections—the simulated voice sounds flat. This is what the speaker sounded like to me throughout the entire workshop. He talked fast; I do not remember any pauses, yet once he had to gasp for air in mid-sentence.
No matter what words you use, you will never connect with an audience unless you use your heart as well. I’ve seen countless presentations by engineers, IT people and many highly trained professionals that remind me of my computer reading to me. This gets the facts out, but you will not truly connect with the audience. I call this “talking from your head.” When you know what to listen for, it’s very obvious when speakers do this.
When you present to your audience/client, it’s critical to speak from your heart as well as your head. Make sure there is that emotional sound in your speaking. If you’re not sure how this should sound, rent a movie. For Example, watch a romantic comedy and listen carefully to the tone and vocal variations during key scenes. This gives you an idea of how a tender moment should sound.
Depending upon your presentation, there may be times when you need to sound scared or excited. Check around for famous movies that have these types of scenes. Listen carefully to how the words are said. Using the right voice with the right words causes a connection with the audience much deeper than sounding like a computer reading text.