“Building a great speaking career happens through developing human relationship connections, not just delivering a good speech.”
Have you ever watched another speaker who was receiving standing ovations, great interaction from the audience, and rave reviews and wondered what they have that you don’t? They have strong presentation skills, but so do you. They have great content, but so do you. Their audience is with them all the way, is yours? Something’s off and your crowd is just not “into you”. Ever wonder why? Maybe it has to do with your MQ.
I’m going to share with you what makes the difference. It is your MQ. MQ = Mingle Quotient. The biggest secret to getting the audience to connect with you and become completely engrossed with your speech is to get there early and….mingle! What makes star speakers stand out is their willingness to go the extra mile and to give above and beyond what is expected of them. You say you are already going beyond and travelling many extra miles. Are you making individual connections in the process? If not, I’ll show you here how it can be a simple thing to do if you make the time to get there early, mingle, shake hands, walk around, introduce yourself and listen to them. Make connections before you take the stage and see them pay off during your time in front of the audience. Put your mingling skills and talents to good use outside of the room to see better engagement inside the room.
What are you supposed to say to all the people you meet? The beauty here is that you needn’t talk very much at all. Let your audience members tell their story and intently LISTEN to each one. This is priceless because it shows you really care about why your audience members are there on your day to speak. Once they have finished, chime in with a great tip and leave the “Me” part out. Do not go on and on about the things you’ve done, where you’ve been, what you think…turn off the “you” and tune into the “them”. Everyone wants to be heard, right? To do this effectively, you’ll need to practice so you can connect with people, but not get too bogged down in only one or two conversations.
You ask: “How am I supposed to get there early and mingle? I have so much to do before my speech.” You are nervous, you need to practice, you have so many materials to set out, and you must get in the zone before taking the stage. I get that. However, the time for practicing passed before the day of your event. You need to do all of your practicing and final prep before you get to the event. You need to be in the zone while driving to the event and then in a head-space where you can give of yourself freely before you get on the stage. This “walkabout the room” will make a huge difference in the way the audience responds to you and interacts with you. They are already comfortable and connected to you. They have goodwill for you now. They will share this goodwill for you with their neighbors in the audience: “Hey, I met her beforehand and she is really warm and terrific.” “This man about to speak is really tuned in to what we’re challenged with at work. He really cares.” They want to see you do well….and they will help get you there.
Professional performers know that it is important to warm up an audience. They have opening acts or warm up comedians. You have you. You are your own opening act when you walk the floor, introduce yourself, exhibit a friendly manner, and listen.
You have a great opportunity here. I think many speakers miss this golden opportunity in a room full of people before an event. Having the chance to tune in to and connect with individuals in your upcoming audience is a gift. Make the most out of it while on stage and see it result in the possibility of increased future bookings, clients or product sales. Building a great speaking career happens through developing human relationship connections, not just delivering a good speech.
Up your Mingle Quotient by walking the floor, greeting and meeting, and most importantly, being an attentive and engaged listener. Make connections. Relate. See the dividends paid by an engrossed and engaged audience. Have your back of the room ready. Do not be surprised when they want more of “you” once you have finished your speech. A speaker with a high MQ is always very much in demand.