Hi there, one of the things that people often say to us is that I’m fine talking one-to-one across a table with somebody, but if I have to talk to a roomful of people, it’s a completely different matter and I go to pieces. So what’s the difference in dealing between the two?
Well one thing that might surprise you, is that there is surprisingly little difference. Well, first of all – he’s Michael, and I’m Helen and we are The Presentation Maestro – In our own special way – Yes – surprisingly little difference, and in fact both are very conversational, or need to be conversational. One to one is likely to be interactive, two-way conversation – and to a bigger group well a small group or a bigger group it’s more of a one-way conversation- but still very conversational.  And we’ve got three tips for you on how to make the difference, less of a difference.
And the first one is we’d encourage you to be natural but plus a couple of clicks. So what do we mean by that? Well you talk louder than you normally would, you vary your pace a lot more than you normally would, you vary your intonation more than you normally would, and you certainly pause for longer than you would in a conversation. So it’s still you – but it’s a slightly heightened version of you. So that’s the first tip.
The second one.. well that one is all about volume. Now the first thing to say is if you are going to be miked-up, get to the venue early, find the sound person, find out the type of mike they’re going to ask you to use and have a play.. have a practice – and preferably if they give you a choice go for a lapel mike like this one, or one of those little “Madonnas” as they call them that
come around here, avoid if you can the ghastly handheld one. Yes, because then you end up talking… very quietly..( they’re a bugger, I’d avoid them)… okay.
So that’s if you’re if you’re being miked up – get there early, find the sound person, play with the equipment – and make sure you’re comfortable. But if you’re not being miked-up – then you have to talk a lot louder than you think you might. We’re all used to talking in a conversational tone most of the time. And the about the only time we really get our volume up is if you’re in a rugby crowd or football crowd or something yelling for your team. Most the time we don’t raise our voice – or in a bar trying to chat someone up – Particularly if you’re in Madrid! They talk rather loudly in Spain, or the Oktoberfest in Munich.
But you’re probably not at either of those venues, and so you’d have to talk louder. And as a rule of thumb we’d say over about 20
or 30 people, you probably have to about double your volume. Yup. It’ll be uncomfortable for many of you and extremely unfamiliar but get used to it, practice it, otherwise they’re not going to hear in the back.
Okay so that’s tip number two that’s about volume. Now on to tip number three – and this is all about engagement, and one of our pet things – absolutely – eye contact. Absolutely and if you’re going to a large-ish venue, as Helen said earlier on with a mike, get there early. Get there early – get on that stage and look where the audience is going to be so you can get your sight line.. of
where to look with people. Because don’t expect it to be all right on the night. Because a lot of the time and particularly on bigger stages – is that the lights go down on the audience and they go up on you – and you’ll just be looking out in blackness and it’s pretty unnerving. But if you’ve got your sight lines, then you can look everywhere there are people. And to use that old adage “If
you can’t make it, fake it.” If you can’t see the audience just look in their direction and they will love you for it. Because they’ll feel you’re talking directly to them and you will be – you just can’t see them! It’s a bit weird, but it works.
But avoid trying to use these these patterns that a lot of people teach you, you know, like you’ve got the N or W or the upside-down C or whatever it is or you split your audience into three… there’s enough going on up there without you having to worry about that. yeah. Just look in every direction there are people yes – And particularly bringing in the wings – extreme left and right – those are the ones that often get missed.
Okay and finally to wrap this up. Finally taking it back to the beginning – there are more similarities than differences. You still need a clear Aim. You still need a clear message. You still need eye contact. You still need to make it conversational yes and to engage with everybody.
Hope you found that useful. See you on the next one.