How to Get Naked When You Speak

by Ian McKenzie on August 19, 2013

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Keep your clothes on. We’re not talking about that kind of naked.

The most successful speakers are successful because of their ability to connect with the audience. While there are many ways to make a connection with your audience, great speakers make emotional connections with the audience.

Oprah is one of the best examples of connecting with an audience through her vulnerability. She’s not afraid to show an emotional response to what is happening on her show; her viewers love it.

In the same way, you as a speaker should not be separated from your audience, but looking to connect. Here’s how to strip down in front of your audience:

  1. Speak from the heart – Let the real you come through. You’ll be more convincing and much more comfortable. Don’t be afraid of what will happen, make the most of the experience. Why you say what you say is important. When you speak from the strength of your convictions, you improve the possibility your listeners will accept what you’re saying.
  2. Know the limits – The audience is not your private therapy group. If you get too emotional or share too much personal information, you will lose the audience. They are ready to sympathize, but they don’t want to be freaked out.
  3. Tell a story. People don’t want to sit through a dry recitation of facts, statistics, policy, etc. Learn to tell stories. Don’t worry about being clever, just share your life with your audience.

The clichéd advice for nervous speakers is to picture the audience in their underwear. Turn that advice on its head and expose yourself to your audience.

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