1. Set Expectations
set expectations for the listeners and yourself at the beginning of the speech like, “at the end of this presentation, you should be able to do this and that…”. This allows you to measure your audience and also allows the audience to measure themselves.
2. Be Easy About It
Rather than demanding people face the front of the room and give you their undivided attention like a stuffy school teacher, be easy about it. Most people would rather chat informally with a friend than be required to sit at attention during a speech. People tend to remember interactions with friends, so turn your speech into something that resembles that situation.
However, creating a relaxed environment doesn’t mean professionalism goes out the window. It simply means loosening your tie a little.
3.Distractions Shouldn’t come from you.
Make no mistake, there will be distractions. maybe be a rogue cell phone that goes off in the middle of a talk. There might be the person who answers the phone in the middle of your talk. You can’t keep distractions from happening. You either ignore them, address them or incorporate them into your talk. What you should never do, though, is add to the distractions.
Whatever the case, don’t be the one to add to the distractions. That includes wearing squeaky shoes, hats that cast shadows on your face, too much bling, or anything else that takes away from message.
4. Engage The Audience
The best way to keep an audience’s eyes on you is to involve them in the conversation whenever possible. Audience participation is key to creating and sustaining attention. So instead of banning phones, you can encourage your audience to post photos of the event to social media, tweet parts of the talk, or even livestream. Another benefit, is that “by reading these posts later, the speaker gets instant feedback and sees what was most memorable to the audience or what may have fallen flat.”
5. Stay In The Moment
Try as much as possible not to lose the enthusiasm and zeal you started off with, as this would make your speech drab and uninteresting and you may end up disgusting the audience.