Welcome to Day 30 of 31 Days of Connection! Find all the posts you may have missed linked up on Day 1.
Connect Through Public Speaking
Well, if you thought putting yourself out there to connect through videos was intimidating, then public speaking may be your toughest connection challenge. Public speaking is many people’s biggest fear. There are a few oddballs like me who actually enjoy it (and yes, I lettered in Speech in high school). Whether or not you enjoy it, it’s an excellent way to connect with a group of people in a personal way. Of course, public speaking does not always have to be in front of a large group. There are plenty of opportunities to connect without it being such a formal event.
Public speaking can certainly be a planned event on a stage in front of hundreds of people, but it can take many other forms. It could happen in the form of teaching or training a smaller group of people, giving a presentation in a meeting at work, sharing your thoughts with the group in a Bible study, or something similar. You probably didn’t realize that you’ve already been doing public speaking in various forms. When you speak up in a group of people and share authentically or speak about a subject you’re passionate about, people will feel connected to you, leading to new and better relationships.
Public Speaking Tips
There are a few things to remember in order for your speaking to help you connect, no matter where you are:
Know your audience. Before you speak, it’s important to understand exactly who your audience is – age, gender, goals, why they are listening to you, etc. This will help you speak in a way that relates to your target audience and makes for a better sense of connection.
Be yourself. Don’t try to act like somebody else when you are speaking. If you are pretending or uncomfortable with what you are speaking about, that will come across to your audience. If you are thought of as phony or not credible, then you’ll turn off your audience and lose the chance to connect.
Make eye contact. Looking at the back of the room over the heads of who you are speaking might be a strategy to overcome fear, but it makes your speech less personal. Make eye contact directly with different members of your audience as you are speaking and it will feel like you are speaking to all audience members as well as the ones you’re looking at.
Smile. We’ve already talked about how a smile can bring connection. Sometimes when you’re speaking to a group, you forget to smile because you’re focused on your words. Smile before you start and remind yourself to smile a few times as you speak. It puts your audience at ease and gives them positive feelings when they smile back.
Speak confidently. Whether or not you are an expert on what you’re talking about, say it confidently. It helps you come across as more knowledgable, credible, and trustworthy. People are more likely to trust and connect with you when they feel you are comfortable with your subject matter.
No matter where you are speaking, you have an opportunity to reach out and share yourself with others. By doing this regularly, you can connect with more people and build more relationships.
Day 30 Daily Connection Challenge:
Don’t skip this one just because it’s public speaking! You don’t have to give a speech in front of a crowd, but bonus points for you if you set up a speaking opportunity for yourself. Find a way in the next 2 weeks to speak publicly in one of the many forms we talked about. Remember the tips from above and see if you can use that opportunity to make a new connection with somebody.
Thank you for being here with me on Day 30 of 31 Days of Connection! Do you have a fear of public speaking or do you enjoy it? Did you realize that there are other forms of it besides a speech in front of a crowd? Let me know in the comments! See you back here one more time for Day 31, friends!