Public Speaking: The Secret To Being Heard In A Group
Public speaking is one of the most commonly held fears and being heard in a group can be tough. Have you ever been in a team meeting and found it difficult to get your point across, often being interrupted by other, louder personalities?
Many people have. That’s why in this article I’ll outline three quick tips that will help you be heard and maintain your listeners’ attention.
1. Know your main point
It’s hard to listen to someone when they are waffling or talking around the subject, particularly in a busy corporate environment. So before you start talking, or before you even go into your meeting, make sure you are clear as to what you are talking about. You might find it helpful to jot down your main points in a book to keep them in your mind.
Stick to one point at a time rather than half finishing a topic and jumping to the next . If you’re the sort of person who thinks whilst speaking, have a notebook beside you so you can jot down points as they come to mind and then you can address them at a more appropriate time.
2. Keep it interesting by varying your voice
Emphasise your main points by making your voice more expressive. To have an expressive voice you can pause, quicken your pace, lower and raise your volume and pitch. When these are used effectively they can add the needed emphasis to convey your point and keep your listeners engaged.
We notice change. For example, you may live by a busy road with the constant noise of traffic. However you soon tune out from the constant drum of cars. But when a truck comes by you’re immediately aware of the noise and you tune back in. In a similar way you can use this natural human tendency to regain your listeners attention.
3. Involve your audience
Active listeners are much more likely to pay attention than passive listeners. When a listener is just being continually fed information there is no need for an active mental response. When this happens, minds drift and you lose your audience. So what could you do to engage your audience? Perhaps you could ask a rhetorical question. It keeps the listener tuned in to what you’re saying because now they are involved. Where appropriate you may even be able to ask the audience questions however do this with discretion because you may find that those louder personalities use this as an opportunity to take the stage.
If you find it difficult to get your point across in a group and to hold your listeners’ attention try out these three simple steps. Be concise and know your main points, keep it interesting and involve your listeners to keep them engaged
What have you found useful to keep your listeners engaged?
Speech Language Therapist