Here’s an interesting dilemma we discussed in my public speaking class. You’re slated to speak at a large event of several hundred attendees, say a charity dinner or cocktail, where people have come to socialize.
You get to the podium, but find that groups of people continue to talk among themselves as you speak.
What do you do to gain your audience’s attention? Here are some ideas.
- Start out by saying: “Hi everyone. I know you’re all here to enjoy yourselves, so I’ll be brief.”
- Say, “I can hear you; can you hear me?”
- Say “Okay everyone, on the count of three one…two…three….Shhhhh”
- Stare down the offenders
- Pause until there is quiet in the room
- Strike a glass with a spoon so that everyone can hear it.
Do you have a method you would like to share with our readers?
Photo: Francisco Osorio via flickr