Words can be misleading. They don’t always tell the whole story.
For example, to call what you do on stage at a live event simply “public speaking” is too simple. You wouldn’t describe Niagara Falls as just a waterfall or the Grand Canyon as just a hole in the ground. Being on stage at a live event is so much more than just public speaking.
But delivery is everything. Anyone can get up and regurgitate information to people sitting in chairs. Even if the information is pretty earth-shattering, presentation is paramount.
I’d love to change the term “public speaker” to “mesmerizer.” Your audience wants to be mesmerized. And you can mesmerize them.
Think about why people come to your seminar or workshop. They’ve invested their time, money and energy into more than information sharing. The number one reason they come is to see YOU!
The key is a compelling delivery. Without a mesmerizing delivery, your audience won’t walk away having the experience of a lifetime.
To master delivery, you must do these four things: hook your audience with passion and humor, make your presence known on stage, be yourself and be vulnerable, and connect with your audience.
Hook your audience with passion and humor
I once had an experience I knew I needed to share on stage. Not because the experience was inspiring or full of valuable information, but because what happened was quite funny.
If you want to hook your audience, the best way is with passion and humor. One way I like to convey humor is through stories. People love stories because we’re all living stories.
When on stage I told the humorous story — which involved getting a signature from the famous speaker and author, T. Harv Eker— the audience and I laughed together.
Who doesn’t love laughter, right? But even leading up to the laughter, or the funny part of the story, the audience was all ears.
Knowing the funny story was starting, they were immediately engaged. I was more passionate in my manner telling the story. My movements were exaggerated, and I was visibly having fun. This translated to my audience in a big way.
When I got to the punch line, the audience was already invested. The buildup lead to a very fun payoff. The connection we shared helped me continue to teach them through the rest of my speech.
That moment after we all had a good laugh — you know what I’m talking about. The audience was mesmerized. What passion and humor could you deliver to your audience?
Make your presence known on stage
Most people get up on stage and immediately start talking. They’ve done a lot of prep and they’re anxious to get started already.
But if you want to make your presence known on stage, you need to start your very first moments on stage by doing the opposite: Be silent. Do what I call the “stop and scan.” Just breathe. And don’t say a word.
This does some powerful things. You can calm your insides and really see who is in the audience.
For your audience, they begin to sit there and think, who is this person? Why aren’t they talking? They’ll get very interested and curious about who’s on stage. They will be very eager to hear your first words. They will be mesmerized.
Bring your presence to the stage in the very first minutes. Always do the stop and scan.
Be yourself and be vulnerable
Most of us have our private selves and our public selves. Don’t be afraid to keep certain things private. But you absolutely must be yourself when speaking to a crowd if you want to memorize.
“Now Callan,” you ask, “how do I remain private but still be myself?”
The answer has to do with emotions. Show your audience what you feel. Are you grumpy? Sometimes I’m grumpy either in front of the camera or at a live event. In this manner, I’m sharing my Authentic Emotional Expression.
Honesty about your feelings helps you capture your audience. There was a time when trainers typically got on stage, stuffed their feelings down and performed, no matter what.
But I have a secret: People see right through you.
They also want to feel your humanness. Our world is so disconnected. Audiences crave authentic communication like never before, because they don’t get much real connection in their lives.
Be real. Show who you are through your emotions. Are you happy about a win? Express that emotion! Are you mad about an injustice? Rant about the wrong in a constructive way, but be authentic. Talk through your thought process.
You can cry on stage. You can laugh on stage, either way, you are making an emotional connection. By connecting on this emotional level, you’ll build trust and mesmerize your audience in the process.
Connect with your audience
When asked whether they fear death or public speaking more, most people actually choose public speaking! This fear can drive us to be robotic. Get up, say the words, sit down.
If this happens, the audience may feel like they should have stayed home and watched a video instead. But, they don’t want a video. There are millions of videos available for them to watch anytime. Your audience signed up for your workshop and came all this way.
Why? To connect with you. When your attendees leave your seminar, what will they remember? How they felt.
On stage, many speakers tend to only talk to the first and second row of the audience. If you only project your energy and attention to those few, you’ll lose people in the back of the room. They’ll start checking out emotionally and psychologically, and some may check out physically by falling asleep, playing on their phones or even getting up and leaving your seminar.
Speak to the entire room! Get to the people who are in the very far corners.
Look into their eyes — all the way to the back of the room. Deeply connect with one person, then change your gaze and connect with someone else, and on and on — the whole room becomes enthralled. Mesmerized.
Make sure you get to as many people as possible. The conversation becomes intimate, which is the best way to connect with your audience.
When you deliver in this way, you’re no longer just a public speaker. You’re a mesmerizer who can reach out and change people’s lives in a profound way.