Do's & Don'ts About Speaking To A Large Audience

Most speakers begin their careers speaking to a small group people – there are not so many experts in public speaking who started with stadium-sized audience.

The more you know, the more experienced you are, the more your business grows, - your audience will grow too. And one day you may find yourself standing in front of a very large hall full of people. All of them are listening to you. They are looking to you right now. Say something or you may fail. This may really scare. What if I made a mistake? What if I didn’t know what to talk about? Where to hide?

Don't be afraid.

Yes, a big audience has some different features in comparison with a small group of people. But this doesn’t mean that personalities are another. They are the same, just imagine that your small group multiplies in 2, 5 or 100 times. YOU CAN DO IT. So let's get started. What to do and what not to do when you are speaking to a really large audience?

Some speakers react for the audience's increase in a quite strange way. For example they are normally acting when there are 10 persons in front of him, and feel very uncomfortable when there are 15 of them. But remember – this is good!

  • It means you are interesting.
  • It means you are already DOING what you want.
  • It means your success is more possible than yesterday.

What is the difference?

When you talk to a small audience, you can speak to them one by one, even if you don't really make some personal talks. You can ask a question to most of them and get their answers, you can easily keep the conversation and moderate it. All can participate and feel like your way to make a presentation is individual. Another moment: when they are 5 or 10, it is more likely they will support your opinion – this is an important psychological law.

And what about a large audience? You may feel like you are a student who is passing his exam now. It may seem like only you are speaking – a very strange and uncomfortable feeling for the first time. You feel a psychological pressure, much more responsibility than if there are 10 of them (and now 100, for example). You are in a center of attention of a huge number of people so if you made a mistake, many of them will notice it and discuss. So you have to change some habits and types of conversation to get more results and reduce your stress.

What to do?

Don't start with "sorry"

Even if you want to use your humor. This is normal to speak to a big audience, so if you are here – you know what you are doing now. Don't say: "Of course, I am not so good…" or "Sorry, I'm a bad speaker". Yes, this is a joke, but if it may be suitable in front of a small audience, it looks and sounds not so good when you speak to a big one. If you apologize from the very beginning, people will not expect more, they will subconsciously expect that you'll disappoint them. Always begin with something positive, inspiring, enthusiastic. Remember – first minutes set the mood of all your presentation or lecture!

Learn who they are

We've already said about that and never will stop saying. Learn your audience. Of course, there are so many people with different interests, goals, moods, sometimes even of different cultures and diverse expectations. But all of them are here to listen to you. You have a topic, they are interested to learn something new from this topic and from you. So learn as much as you can who they are, what do they want, remember this and use in your performance. Keep their interest. Know that they want not only the information, they want to be pleased a little, to find themselves and their own thoughts in your speech. Use it!

Speak energetic

When you are talking to a small audience, you use certain gestures and poses like you are speaking to your friends on your birthday party. But when your audience is really large, you have to change your body language and even your voice expression and intonations. Find your own ways to get more energy and enthusiasm – the best big public speeches are always very inspiring and motivating. People may come back home after your presentation full of energy, joy of what you do, full of enthusiasm and wish to work, to use knowledge they've just got. Don't read from a paper or a slide. Prepare some "improvisations" in advance.

Be as clear as you can

When there are 10 persons in your room, you can answer almost all their questions and make everything clear if they don't understand what do you mean. But when there are 500 persons, this is not an available option. Sure, you can answer to several of them, but not all. So write down and learn your key positions about your speech, stay behind your key message and mission, make it as clear and simple as you can. Explain your idea in 15 words – this is one of the best exercises for you to understand is your topic is clear for your audience no matter of its size.

Control your body and voice

In front of a big audience it is very, VERY important. Don't play with your pencil. Don't hide your hands. Don't scratch your nose or other body parts. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes which will not distract you from your presentation. Many people are speaking in a too fast way because they are nervous – try not to rush, train at home to slow down the temp of your speech. Breathe when you are speaking. Look to them and you'll see – they are on your side. Everything will be great!

© PodioBox 2017

Posted in PodioMotivation, PodioProfy, Tips by PodioBox on Mar 10, 2019.