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Free Speech Lesson

How Does an Audience Impact a Speaker?

Above is a weekly speech tip video. How does an audience impact a speaker?
1. You walk to the front of the room and turn to face the audience. Your instincts say to scan the audience. Your eyes almost wander by themselves. But that makes a feeling of nervousness. You get an extra jolt of adrenaline. Your thoughts get jumbled; your mind can go blank.
2. Our instincts tell us to do all the wrong things:
• Look away from audience while searching for a word.
• Look up, hoping for the universe to help.
• Close eyes, as if that will focus us.
• Sweep the whole room with our eyes.
Those are habits. You do them because you don’t know what else to do.
3. Where should you focus? Focus on one person, one pair of eyes. Remain focused on one person until you complete a thought. That is a sentence or phrase. Usually it is more than five seconds but not as much as fifteen seconds. Then you move to another pair of eyes and complete another thought.
When you focus on one person, you reduce the audience to one individual. That is the same as you face every day. You are used to speaking to one person at a time. You are good at it.

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