It is always the aim of a speaker: whether they are in a meeting, a presentation or public speaking opportunity, to engage with your audience: to make your audience Love you!
This was a challenge I was presented with, this week, where I spoke to an international audience at Convene; an international trade show in Lithuania. The trade show represented the Baltic countries in the meetings, events and incentive travel industry. Listen to the podcast here.
The challenge with the speech was to ensure I engaged the audience, so they really got the most out of the session. Of course I wanted them to LOVE me, and I had to do lots of preparation with this:
- I found out from the organisers as much as I could about the prospective guests at the trade show and also the people likely to attend the ‘Education’ zone. In this case, I discovered that the majority of the guests were from the Baltic states; that they didn’t speak English as a first language; that they were very keen to learn about Western European styles of engaging in meeting.
- I ensured I modified my language so it was more simple rather than very complicated words. I used examples that were international, rather than very ‘British’ or ‘English’ references.
- I was warm, welcoming and inviting. I used open body language, a warm tone to the voice and I smiled a lot! I had been quite visible during the show; had been happy to host ‘meet the expert’ mini workshops and chat to people before the speech.
- The audience understood me. In other words, I modified how I spoke: really clearly and much slower than usual. As I mentioned in 2, I had already modified my vocabulary and examples.
- I invited the audience to engage with me further; either at the end of the speech (and lots of people came up to talk), or to receive my newsletter to keep in touch.
You will see that there are plenty of analogies with ‘courtship’ or a process of building business relationships. These always include a lot of communication engagement, not just chocolates and roses! Listen to the podcast here.
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