Knowing how and when to hit the reset button is an often over-looked skill that is critical to the craft of public speaking.
Have you ever sat in an audience where the speaker wasn’t connecting – not because the content was off, but because the speaker’s energy level was out of sync with the audience’s?
We were – last week. It was a magic show complete with lighting, levitation, and illusions. The magician was a larger than life performer, with tone, gestures, and pacing identical to the show he does in Las Vegas. The performance should have been a home run, but it wasn’t.
The issue? The show wasn’t in Vegas. It was at a retirement community we were visiting where an 8:00 PM show start time is considered “a little late”. The audience, full from its’ pre-show dinner, was stone cold sober in all senses of the word. Yet, the magician played with Vegas-like energy. He couldn’t dial it down to meet the audience, establish connection, and lift them up. It was an epic fail because he couldn’t hit the reset button.
If this happened to you, could you press the reset button?
In our speaker coaching programs, we train presenters to rehearse solutions to disaster scenarios.
Two options for hitting the reset button for you to practice:
Scenario 1: There’s a delta between your energy and the audience’s:
Pause, look at the audience, and shift your tone so it’s just above their’s. Then bring them up as quickly as they can accept.
Scenario 2: The content you’re presenting isn’t resonating:
Notice you’re out of sync and change it up. Shift your body position, darken the PowerPoint, pause for a beat and say something like “you know, let’s just talk.” Then relax and have a conversation.
The single most important thing to remember:
Pay attention to the audience’s tone level and adjust yours as needed.
Be observant. If there’s a sudden coughing outbreak spreading throughout the room, extra light from cell phone screens, or people sneaking out of the room, hit the reset button to re-engage your audience and re-track your presentation.
Learn how to hit your reset button at The Speaking Intensive℠. Get 18 hours of coaching with us in a small group setting for half the cost of our private coaching retainer. Register for the April 27-28 small group coaching session to join us. Save money by taking advantage of the early registration discount before it ends on March 3rd, if the session isn’t sold out by then.
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Hall of Fame speaker Alan Parisse has been coaching presenters and delivering keynotes for over 25 years. Named “One of the Top 21 Speakers for the 21st Century” by Successful Meetings Magazine, he is a keynote speaker for a wide variety of industries and organizations. Alan is a passionate presentation coach to executives, financial advisors, sports stars and sales presenters.
Lisa Casden has been coaching presenters for 10 years. A former professional figure skater, coach and choreographer, Lisa leverages her unique background and point of view to help speakers organize their physicality in ways that best support their message.