What sets the tone for an event isn’t the guests, the location, the décor, or the lighting – it’s the host. While splurging on decorative pieces and elaborate venues might seem like a smart way to get guests to really feel the festivity, it’s actually in the way the host commands the audience that engagement is truly achieved. Sadly, not every host is gifted with the ability to impress an audience.

The Truth About Hosting

Standing in front of a crowd can be very mind numbing and nerve racking for a lot of people – even those who are paid to do it. Although some individuals are naturally gifted at speaking in front of a crowd, no one can ever really get over the fidgety feeling you get right before it happens, and this small window of nervousness – if opened – can be more than enough to send you crashing and burning.

The worst thing that can happen when a speaker or host gets afflicted with the nervousness bug is that they clam up and go about their bit in a robotic and mechanical way. By disengaging from the audience and maintaining focus on what should be said, a host can alleviate the symptoms of the nerves, but also makes the entire event very bland and boring. The result? An unimpressed crowd eager to end the painful experience just as much as the nervous speaker.

But an audience isn’t only bored with a speaker who deliberately refuses to engage them – even dynamic, energetic speakers are not free from the potential of boring a crowd. The thing is, if you don’t talk to a group in a way that piques their interest, you might not be able to engage them at all. It doesn’t matter how good you are at talking, how clear your points are, or how much effort you put into gaining their attention – if a crowd can’t relate, they’re bound to make it apparent.

How to Use Feedback to Improve Audience Engagement

If you’ve ever caught yourself standing in front of an uninterested audience, don’t panic! While their response to your effort isn’t the kind that you prefer, there are ways that you can use their reactions to fine tune your style into something that suits them better. Note facial expressions and gestures and what causes them to act out. Stop using phrases or tones that evoke negative reactions from your audience, and try out other strategies in order to get them to engage. This way, you become a dynamic speaker able to please any audience for maximum engagement.

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