CNN’s Anderson Cooper has earned four Emmys because he knows how to talk to one person, not millions. What is the secret to his success? He says he is “not talking to X number of people, I’m just talking to one person through that camera lens.”
The Art of Essential Speaking
Cooper has mastered the art of Essential Speaking because he knows how to make public speaking seem like a one-on-one conversation. Listeners in an audience respond more readily when they feel they are being included. Rather than talking at a group of people, you need to be with an individual…as if no one else is in the room.
How to Engage Your Listeners
Whenever you speak to groups, find one person, focus your attention on him or her and direct your words to only that person. Then find someone else and create a new relationship where what you say arrives “special delivery” to your listener.
Doreen’s Essential Speaking Tip:
You can practice engaging with your listener the very next time you speak with someone. One-to-one connection is made eye to eye. It’s not a stare, but a soft gaze. You don’t want to push your listener away, but you do want to be able to keep your gaze longer that you are probably used to. This is a muscle you can develop so that when you are in front of a group you have the capacity to look directly at each person in your audience.