"ORATOR ARE YOU AWARE?"
One of my mentors Dr. Larry Edmund's often stated to me after I completed a speech. "Leon, I don't think you know what you have." When he first began to say this to me it offended me a little because in my head I was saying to myself " I have been doing this for over 20 years who are you to even insinuate that I don't know what I have?" Later this thought was an embarrassing revelation to me of how big my ego had grown. I also thought that his words were sheer flattery. However, after he repeated it after several different events it began take root and motivated me to began to examine myself and the power that I possessed as a public speaker through the medium of my speaking gift.
You see to many of us are guilty (at least I know that I have been) of being overly aware of how excited are audiences become after we say particular things. Or overly aware of the level of applause we received from our audience. We may never say it, but we are conscious of whether the applause was low, mediocre, or high. The reasons we can be overly aware of these things are very self-serving reasons.
1. They aid our egos, conceit and pride
2. Our self-confidence is low and the excitement and applause of the audience builds us.
3. We use these responses to determine whether our speech was a success or not.
But any seasoned public speaker will tell you that the applause and excitement of your audience doesn't always accurately determine if your speech accomplished its purpose or not. Sometimes you can speak to an audience that is not jumping from the chandeliers but they're avidly taking notes. They're not running the isles in a frenzy of excitement but their attention is locked on you. Often these laid back audiences will apply more of the steps and instructions you gave them, than the audience that is shouting your name in extreme adulation. This is not to say that you should not want your audience to applaud you or you should not want them to be excited about the things you say or present. I believe all public speakers want this. But we all need to be aware of a very subtle dynamic in public speaking. The dynamic is s simply this "Public speakers sometimes through the applause and excitement of their audience get more out of the event than those they are there to help." Orator are you aware of this