how to create rapport when giving a speech

How to Create Rapport when Giving a Speech: Tip from a Great TED Talk

What’s the best way to build rapport with your audience?

How do you connect with your audience?

The Secret to Building Rapport with Your Audience

In this post, taken from my book “CAPTIVATE: Public Speaking Secrets from TED Talks”, you will discover how to create rapport when giving a speech.

First though, watch how Sir Ken Robinson masterfully creates rapport with his audience in his great TED Talk:

Speak like you’re sitting in a coffee-shop

Listening to Sir Ken’s speech, it feels more like you and him are sitting in a coffee shop having a talk, as opposed to him presenting to an audience of hundreds.

He uses very natural and conversational language, which makes his talk seem authentic. For example, consider when Sir Ken says:

“He was in the nativity play. Do you remember the story?”

The above sentence uses the singular you-focus (“Do you remember”), which creates the feeling that Sir Ken is having a one-on-one conversation with his audience.

Use the singular you-focus to create rapport between you and your audience

Here’s another example where Sir Ken uses the singular you-focus to create the feel of a one-on-one conversation with the audience:

“But if you are, and you say to somebody, you know, they say, “What do you do?” and you say you work in education, you can see the blood run from their face. They’re like, “Oh my God,” you know, “Why me? My one night out all week.” (Laughter) But if you ask about their education, they pin you to the wall.”

You must enjoy your presentation

Sir Ken also seems genuinely tickled by some of his own jokes (“You’re not often at dinner parties, frankly, if you work in education. You’re not asked. And you’re never asked back, curiously.”) and appears to ad-lib occasionally, just as if you were chatting casually (“When my son was 4 in England – actually, he was 4 everywhere, to be honest.”).

If you’re not amused by your own presentation, you can’t expect your audience to be!

Create rapport by speaking conversationally

Next time you are giving a presentation, don’t aim to impress – aim to connect by speaking conversationally.

Want more great tips on how to create rapport when giving a speech?

Then check out my book “CAPTIVATE: Public Speaking Secrets from TED Talks”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *