Ever face a really small audience? If not, you will. It happens to every speaker at least one time. You owe it to yourself, your host and your audience to put on a professional performance. Here are some key points to keep in mind.
1. Remain positive. Keep a smile on your face and in your voice. Show enthusiasm and interest, even excitement. Act as if you expected–even preferred–a smaller audience.
2. Be prepared to adjust your presentation. You might have to trim material or change direction along the way. You may find, for example, that a particular question is worthy of an in-depth discussion. You’ll need to cut something from your script, but the additional discussion is more valuable.
3. Adjust the seating. Try to get audience members to sit close to the front. That will create a more intimate setting, which is preferred. I’ve found that when audience members are spread out, it can be more difficult to generate discussion among them.
4. Never apologize or make excuses for the turnout. It’s not your fault, and you don’t want those in attendance to feel awkward. They want to learn, so concentrate on your material.
Have you faced a small audience before? How did you handle it? Feel free to comment below.
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