A Public Speaking Guide from Cassidy Fitzpatrick Carlson:
- If you are not using a microphone, project more than your speaking volume, but don’t shout
- If you’re using a microphone, try to use your normal speaking voice
- Ask the audience if they can hear you, if you’re not sure
Filler Words (uh, um, like, so)
- Know your filler words and do your best to avoid using them. Even if that means taking a pause. Silence is not the enemy!
- Know your quirks. If you talk with your hands, make sure each gesture is important, or work on eliminating some of the extraneous movement.
- Practicing in front of a mirror or filming yourself can help
- There are many different techniques you can try. Generally, let your eyes meet another person’s for about the length of a single thought or sentence and then move onto a new person with the next thought. In a large space where individuals are far away, you can take the same approach with a part of the hall or space.
- Repeat the question that is asked:
- 1) To confirm that you understood it
- 2) So that the other audience members know the question that is being addressed
- Don’t lie! If you don’t know the answer, just say you don’t know.
- Remember that you are representing yourself, sometimes an organization, so be thoughtful about your response.
Practice Practice Practice!
- Record yourself, audio and video
- Rehearse in front of a friend or a small group
- You don’t need to memorize a script, you do need to know your talking points by heart
Audience Engagement tips
- When seeking responses from your audience, use questions with multiple possible answers and be sure to validate all audience responses, especially if they are unexpected
- The audience goes off of your energy! Let your enthusiasm inspire the audience.
- Always face your audience and stand clear of any music stands or other obstructions.
- When using a microphone, hold it in a relaxed hand and keep it close to your mouth.
- See Education guide, but speak to audiences more maturely than you think you need to.
- If you’re not getting responses from the audience, turn to your colleagues on stage for interaction and answers.
- David Wallace – Engaging the Concert Audience: A Musician’s Guide to Interactive Performance
- Eric Booth – The Teaching Artist’s Bible
- The Connected Musician