How to Connect with your Audience
Welcome back I don't know about you but is life just incredibly busy right now, or is that just me?![Of course, it's the second-worst complaint you can have....]. This week's post is about how to connect with your audience. Although my references are from the world of politics, hopefully you can see how this will apply to the non-political world. All political junkies will enjoy the HBO Documentary on the Obama victory, By the People: The Election of Barack Obama. It shows the power of message, focus, motivating and organizing volunteers in the Obama campaign's two year run for the Presidency. All of it added up to connecting with the American public at a time in which the hunger for change was profound, but the risks attached to their choice were never higher. The documentary shows how they broke through into the consciousness of the American people, how they generated massive support by focusing on "change we need...change you can believe in...yes we can!" I particularly enjoyed watching the debate preparation, having spent a lot of time doing that with candidates over the years.They nailed the mistake that the McCain campaign made when in their debate prep they said, "John McCain switched from 'experience' to 'change' as his theme. What a mistake! No kidding. So regardless of your political stripes, it's a fascinating lesson in successful campaigning. Powerful Speeches that Connect with Audiences As someone who trains people on how to deliver speeches on TelePrompters (among other things of course) I pay close attention to political leaders who use it as their preferred delivery tool. Barack Obama is a master. He seems so at ease doing it, that at times it's hard to tell if he is using one. Ah..but that is the art form.Check out this video on the President's over-use of the TelePrompter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAxmNQ-faqo Prime Minister Stephen Harper also utilizes the TelePrompter very often and he has clearly developed a comfort zone with it. I thought one of his best speeches ever was on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day over in France. He did it so seamlessly that it isn't until near the end - when we see the glass screens - that we know he is using the TelePrompter tool. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8qi6m8vBWM Five Quick Tips on Using a TelePrompter 1. Practice looking through the center of the screen - not a left-to-right, word-by-word approach. 2. Feel your words, don't just read them. If it sounds like you're reading it, then that's not good. 3. Don't lock in too long with one screen. Vary your delivery from one screen through the center of the room and then over to the right screen. Then do it in reverse. 4. 'Scoop' your words up off the screen and deliver them out to the room. [This requires a lot of practice. You can practice that with the printed version as well. 5. Did I mention practice?