15 minutes till showtime. Most of the 35 business professionals were shuffling their notes, glancing at their cell phones, or looking ahead in bored silence. Though I was not expected to speak till the top of the hour, I dived into the crowd and started mingling. Starting with a person on the front row, I engaged in mini conversations with different individuals.

Using techniques from my book Conversation Magic, I connected with about 8 different people. In part 2, we’ll look at how I do this. In this article we’ll look at 5 reasons why I mingle with the audience.

Reason #1: Mingling Increases my Connection with the Audience

My friend took a young lady out for coffee. Was it a fun evening? Nope. The conversation dragged and it felt like a piano and a guitar playing different music. There was no connection. He cut the evening short and took her to a movie so he would not have to talk to her!

An audience who feels connected with the speaker listens attentively and the room is filled with energy. If there is weak or little connection, both the speaker and audience may wish they were at the movies!

By mingling with the audience, they will see you as a normal person and it will be easier to connect on stage. Leave a great impression before and it will make it much easier to leave a great impression from the stage.

Reason #2: Mingling Increases my Comfort Level and Reduces Anxiety

I rarely experience public speaking fear due to using the principles in Speak with Confidence. However, mingling puts me even more at ease.

A quick way to reduce public speaking fear is to spend time greeting the audience. I coach clients to stand at the door or go around greeting people. They report back how much it helps reduce anxiety and boost confidence.

Reason #3: Mingling Increases my Likeability

A year ago, I spent 10 minutes mingling with a crowd before a training workshop. Later I glanced at the reviews and several individuals mentioned, “He’s a likeable guy.”

If people like you as a person, they are much more apt to enjoy your message and ask you back. Spending time interacting before your speech will greatly increase your likeability.

Reason #4:Mingling Increases my Ability to use Customized Humor and Content.

Audiences love a customized presentation. One of my friends gets paid $5,000 a speech. He’ll mingle with the audience before the event or even the day prior so he can pick up info on what’s going on. If someone mentions the hotel rooms are small, he’ll work that aspect into the speech.

It’s like toppings on ice-cream. A small amount greatly enhances the experience of the audience.

Reason #5:Mingling Allows Me to use People’s Names in the Presentation

Use a person’s name in a positive way and they will enjoy the attention and everyone else will immediately pay attention. Work in people’s names. If they ask a question, refer back to them by name. Your status will quickly raise as a speaker.

Mingling is a powerful public speaking tip. It can be the difference between a good speaking experience and a great speaking experience.

All these reasons benefit me. However, they also benefit the audience even more so they get more out of my presentation.

Watch for part 2 on how to mingle with the audience.

Arlen Busenitz

Arlen Busenitz is an experienced speaker with over 650 presentations. He is Author of several books, CD's,and creator of Become a Better Speaker in One Evening™

More Posts - Website

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!