Public Speaking: 7 Ice Breakers That Actually Work

One popular activity in public speaking is ice breakers. This activity is created to build up the audience and break the ice to prepare them for what you have to say. However, there are many icebreakers that work great while others are downright awkward.

Here are 7 icebreakers that actually work.

Make Jokes at Yourself

While we don’t condone that you make generalized jokes, be sure not to make jokes that might offend the audience or the company. Making jokes at yourself will work well to point at yourself can get others to laugh along. While some jokes can be corny, catching the audience off guard works to break the ice.

Start With Interactive Questions

Before you get started on your speech, you might want to answer a few questions for the audience. You can engage them with light raising the hand questions like “Raise your hands if you want to make a million dollars this year!”

Don’t ask negative questions as this will create a negative environment. This will only make people feel worse about themselves. Instead, raise your hand questions will get the people engaged and involved with the speaker.

Start a Story With a Cliffhanger

Start by saying “I just want to tell a story that is important for today’s speech.” Or you can simply start your story, leaving the conclusion until the end. This will draw your audience in and keep them engaged to find out what happened in the story.

Have an Introduction

While this isn’t exactly classified as an icebreaker, having someone introduce you and talk up your reputation will have the audience warm up to you before you even get on stage. The audience will anticipate your coming and won’t need much of an icebreaker to get you started.

Break the News

Before you get started on your speech, go ahead and mention some topic-related news about an interesting article or person you read about. As a modern culture, we are included to know what is happening and what to hear it first. This is a great way to get the audience engaged and alert.

Ask the Listeners to Complete a Challenge

Get the audience to talk to the person next to them and welcome each other. Or tell them to give their neighbors a handshake or high five. Asking the audience to complete this small talk will engage them not only with you as the speaker but the others around them.

Begin With an Interesting Quote

I got this tactic from one of my friends that is a personal injury attorney in Fort Worth, Texas. His name is Chris and is a partner at the firm Hutchison & Stoy, he does a lot speaking on personal injury best practices around the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He told me that he always tries to get his audience thinking or laughing with a quote.

This works especially well if it is very specific to your topic. You can keep it simple or make it humorous for the audience. Just be sure to keep it related to what you’re about to talk about.

Got any icebreakers you would like to share with us? Comment below and share your tips with us!

6 Ways You Can Hook Your Audience in Less Than 30 Seconds

Public speakers know more than anything that the first impression is the only impression. Therefore, it should be the best one. It is important to hook your audience within the first minute as this will help create a successful introduction. In this guide, we will show you some ways on how you can grab the audience’s attention and achieve a successful speech.

Check out these 6 ways you can hook your audience in less than 30 seconds.

Give An Exclusive Experience to Your Audience

Everyone wants to feel special. You can achieve this by helping your listeners feel like they have won the chance at an exclusive experience to gain knowledge that is inaccessible to everyone. Be unique by giving your audience a special speech. You can start with a shocking statistic from a new study.

Make A Joke

As cliché as this may sound, it is okay to crack a few jokes before your presentation. If you can make them laugh within the first minute, they will start to warm up to you can retain the substance of your speech. Humor is known to help boost information recall. Therefore, making a few jokes will create an easy path towards a successful presentation.

Take Advantage of Props

If you set an unexpected prop on the podium, your audience will be interested to find out why it is placed there. Therefore, they will listen to what you have to say to make sure they don’t miss out. Not only will adding a prop provoke curiosity but it will also make your point stand out.

However, don’t use props just to get attention. These props must serve a purpose that will not distract your message from the speech.

Get the Audience involved

There is nothing more beneficial than getting the audience’s attention. This can be achieved by including them in the presentation. You can ask them to participate by encouraging games, questions, imagined a scenario or a raise-of-the-hand poll in response.

Include some kind of active engagement to grab your listeners’ attention immediately to ensure that they stay interested and remain on the edge during the entire speech.

Keep Your Open Line Short and Sweet

In today’s millennial world, humans are having short attention spans that are getting shorter by the minute. The best way to captivate your audience is to be sincere, short, and brief.

Self-Deprecate To Your Advantage

Understand that it is important to remind people how imperfect you are. You can remind them that you also have the same worries, fears, and mistakes that they might have. Use that to your advantage by trying to solve those problems together in the speech. It is important to come across as genuine and honest. Never try to self-promote but to make the speech about the audience and their needs.

What other ways have you tried to hook your audience in instantly? How has it worked for you? Comment below and share your experiences with us!

8 Ways You Can Improve Your Skills As A Public Speaker

Improving your public speaking skills is not just for professional speakers but all professionals. Public speaking can help you gain better contacts, promote your business and help you to excel in your career.

Here are eight ways you can improve your skills as a public speaker. FYI, I got a few of these from an Entrepreneur article.

Get to Know your Audience

Every speaker must understand their audience to learn about their needs and expectations. You should consider the age, gender, education, religion, and what they know about you. What you know about them prior to your speech will help you succeed and be prepared for what is to come.

Prepare the Venue

One of the biggest issues speakers have is the audiovisual setup. The best thing you can do is to not leave anything to chance. Let the host know what you might need for the lecture. Will you use a microphone with a cord or a cordless mic? Determine which will help you feel confidence and move comfortable.

Consider Your Height

Will you be standing on a podium but uncomfortable due to your height? Consider standing on the wooden block instead. This will help boost your height when you need it the most. On the other hand, consider moving freely without the podium.

Arrive in Advanced

Arriving early will help you to prepare your materials and speech. This will help you prepare any technical kinks and test the equipment to ensure that everything works well. Ensure to scope the space when it is available and do what you need to do to get comfortable.

Introduce Yourself

For most events, the host will formally introduce you and back the audience with a quick biography. You can help make it easier by sending them a few notes of details about yourself to better introduce yourself. You can include a list of items and bullet points instead of writing the introduction as a paragraph.

Start with Ice Breakers

There are many ways you can warm up the crowd before you start your speech. You can start by playing an icebreaker game that will get the crowd to liven up and participate. You can also tell a story related to your speech, share a joke or even a famous quote that relate to the subject of your talk.

Appreciate Their Attention

While you know your topic from the inside out, you won’t be able to hold their attention if you are boring and lack energy. As the saying goes, there are no dull topics, but only dull speakers. Many speeches end up failing because they don’t spark up the interest of the listeners.

Use Sparse Notes

Some speakers work will with notes, while others look simply unprepared. You can tell who has had years of experience or who lacks experience by how they use their notes during the speech. Using power points are increasingly becoming unpopular as experts believe that power points will force you to make eye contact with them rather than the audience.

What other tips do you have on improving your speaking skills? Comment below and share your tips with us!