If you haven’t had a chance, check out our previous piece on “Preparing to Truly Connect“ before reading these tips. There’s incredibly helpful science behind it all!
So, here go’s!
1. Relax, don’t psyche up:
In advance, tweak your preparation. Rather than neurotically running your script over and over and pacing back and forth, take some time to relax. Consciously control your breathing- slower and deeper- has the effect of lowering your heart-rate and relaxing your muscles. “7:11” breathing is great. In for a count of 7, out for a count of 11. (Do take a look at our “Vocal Conditioning Course” for our practical guide) Tension just puts up a barrier between you and your audience. Breathe through it and break the barrier down.
If you get a chance, talk to individuals in the audience before you speak. Break down that invisible wall. The audience is no longer a face-less mass, but a group of individuals that you’ve already bonded with. You’re just continuing the conversation.
3. Don’t be lonely:
When you’re up there, make eye contact with individuals. It’s so important if you want to stay connected with your audience. Just 2 seconds of eye contact results in the release of oxytocin (social bonding hormone) which massively reduces the impact of cortisol (stress hormone) So, no more tracing an imaginary W over their heads. Without actually making eye contact with your audience, you’re bound to feel separate and disconnected.
With the relaxation exercises and the rapport that you’ve already built with the audience pre-speech, you cannot help but be connected!
“If I can look into your eyes, I can track whether we’re connected or not….for me it’s about generosity serving connection…I’m really just there to serve the audience.”