You’ve just walked up in front of a crowd. They’re all staring at you, eager to hear what you’re going to share.
There is a tension in the air, as the moments tick by. You feel the need to jump in and say something right now. You open you mouth ready to fill the silence.
This might not make sense, but you’re doing the right thing by letting your audience view you first.
Let them get comfortable with how you look, your eye contact, your posture, your energy. Give them at least 5 -10 seconds of silence to settle and lean in to you.
This is a public speaking secret I learned from World Champion of Public Speaking Ed Tate. At the beginning of every speech, he stands in front of the audience and calmly looks back at them with a half smile.
The audience assesses him and gets comfortable with who he is.
Then when he finally speaks, his first few words have weight. He is able to command more control and interest by simply taking 5 – 10 seconds to be silent before he begins.
This is a simple tip, but perhaps one of the most useful I’ve learned in the past few years.
Greet your audience with silence, let them take in who you are, and then when you feel there is a connection, begin speaking.