Public Speaking Course:
Get 'Em on Stage
In my public speaking course you will learn that is very funny to involve the
audience by getting them on stage with you. In fact, almost every presentation I
do, I find a reason to get an audience member on stage with me.
When you get someone from the audience on stage with you, the rest of the
audience will be compelled to watch what's going on for the following reasons:
1. They want to see what is going to happen to one of their own.
2. They are priming themselves to be up there.
3. They are worrying to death that they may be asked to be up there.
The first two reasons are good because the observing audience member is
thinking, "I want to watch to see what my colleague will say or what will
happen to them while they are on stage. No matter how good of a presenter you
are, you can't compete with the excitement that someone from the audience
generates by being on stage with you. My public speaking course teaches you how
to generate this kind of excitement on stage and in the audience.
The other thought is, "I BETTER watch what is going on in case I am
asked to go up there." This mindset is good because it makes the audience
member to think about the point you are trying to make, in case they are asked
The third reason is not so great because the shy or sensitive audience
members will withdraw from what you are saying, because they are scared you will
ask them to stand up in front of everyone. Remembering what you learned in your
public speaking course includes how to be sensitive to the needs of all the
members of your audience. This chance of audience withdrawal is easily
eliminated by the following statement.
"In a moment I'm going to ask for some / a volunteer to come on stage with
me. Don't worry. No one will have to come up if they don't want to." If you
have a high percentage of shy audience members, you will almost feel the breeze
as they breathe a sigh of relief.
According to a study done at the University of Wichita, public recognition is
a top motivator of people. If you claim to be a "motivational" public
speaker of some sort, you need to incorporate this and use your public profile
when speaking to give out some much sought after public recognition. I find out
the good things that particular audience members have done during my extensive
- Recognize a single audience member for a particular achievement, or for a
period of high performance.
- Recognize a group of audience members for a particular achievement, or
period of high performance.
While they are on-stage, highlight their achievement or performance with some
kind of certificate. Make sure you include your company name at the bottom of
the certificate, because many times they will be hung on the wall which will
give you free publicity.
You can also get audience members on stage with you to do some sort of
demonstration. I do a funny one where I'm demonstrating differing personal space
across cultures. The person helping me gets a good laugh from the audience as we
Try to have ad libs planned and ready to go for many of the comments or
questions you anticipate from the people on stage. You can also have someone on
stage to assist you in writing on the flip chart, changing overheads, or to blow
a horn when someone in the audience asks a good question. Let your imagination
have its way when planning your presentation.
Whenever, someone is up there to assist you, make sure you give them some
kind of prize. One of your products is usually good because it gives you a
chance to mention it without using a hard sell. And just
about always lead the audience in a round of applause for the helper as they
return to their seat.