Being a digital marketing expert means that you are going to have to share your valuable insights with people. Whether it be at a business conference or at your office, you will need to learn how to get up in front of people and talk about the latest trends such as ad optimization or Instagram marketing tactics.
Define Your Presentation
When it comes to the art of public speaking, you must understand that all presentations are different. The number of people in attendance plays an important role in how you script and offer your speech, and comprehending the different nuances that come with presenting to a small audience will help you to master the art of public speaking.
Audience Size Matters
“Believe it or not, while a small audience does not seem nearly as ominous, they can end up being much harder to present to” says Dean Adams, an editor for the website Motivational Speaker. “In a large crowd, you can easily get lost in the sea of faces in your crowd. You never need to make a connection with any one person, and therefore aren’t subject to the reactions, facial expressions, and body language that each individual has. In a small crowd, you notice every single nuance from your audience. You will experience the ups and downs of the presentation, and this can make it very difficult to stay on task and in a good rhythm.”
The way you control the room makes a huge difference in presenting to a small audience. Since there are not many in your crowd, you must make the room appear smaller, and personalize the experience for the viewer. Actions that appear spontaneous help to give you control of the space, such as coming into the crowd and sitting down.
Adjust To Your Audience
Casual nuances such as rolling up your shirt sleeves, pulling up a chair and turning it backwards, and sitting close to the audience goes a long ways. Ask for input and feedback during your presentation if you feel comfortable. An audience that is active and participates engages with the presentation much better, and this is essential in a small crowd. To master speaking in public requires that you are hyper aware of your audience’s engagement in your talk, and it will be easy to influence it when its such a small gathering.
Make A Connection
“If you want to quickly build rapport with the people you are talking to, it’s important to connect with them” says Alison Miller from Motivation Ping. “Strive to make an individual connection with each participant to ensure they are engaged in your speech”. In a large audience, this is all but impossible to do. But, in a small crowd, you can have an influence on each listener, and this will ensure that they experience your keynote speech to the fullest.
Presentation skills training teaches that making an individual connection, whether by prolonged eye contact, asking for direct input, or other means, improves your chances of success. Think about it in terms of your individual listeners. What will make the individual feel more connected with you and your topics? Strive to make that connection, and ensure their participation in the process.
Interact With Your Audience
Allow for questions and input during a small audience. While you don’t want anyone to derail your presentation with unnecessary commentary and conversation, allowing for audience participation engages each person. It also assures that the presentation will go the direction that the audience is interested in. Because the group is small, there is a very real chance that you can cater your talk to what they want to hear. While in a large presentation, this isn’t possible, a small speech offers the presenter the ability to learn what the audience wants to learn, and tailor their topics to the specific interests.
Don’t Rush Your Presentation
Pace yourself based on your audience’s level of interest, engagement, and knowledge. Don’t make the mistake of passing them by with glossary information, or of proceeding to slowly and boring them. You have the ability to understand and interpret their level since the crowd is small – use it to your advantage and pace yourself accordingly.
A small audience offers you the ability to make an instant and deep connection with your listeners. However, it also presents a challenge to your public speaking skills, in that you will be able to see, feel, and sense their every thought. Prepare with some of the examples listed above, and you will succeed in displaying the art of public speaking to your crowd.