Sunday, April 17, 2011

Captivating An Audience Is More Than Being Charismatic

How do entertainers and other professionals woo their audiences? Are some people born with the ability to perform? Why are some people better at public speaking than others? 

Getting someone's attention during a speech, a performance or an interview takes more than having charisma. There are people today who are great speakers and some who wish to have the ability to connect with an audience. After viewing "es el momento,"(this is the moment) a town hall meeting with president Barrack Obama and A.J. Jacob's web video "year of living biblically," one finds that public speaking requires confidence, preparation, trying new things, having a sense of humor, and being skilled in a trade. Regardless of issue or subject in highlight, A.J. Jacobs and President Obama are well prepared and know how to connect, respond and share ideas with their audiences. 

A.J. Jacobs is not only an author, but also a philanthropist, prankster and a journalist. In his web video "living biblically," Mr. Jacobs discusses how he adopted the bible and how the bible became his way of life for several weeks. With light humor and showing pictures of his lifestyle changes, Jacob gave detailed information to the audience of how he grew a long beard, changed his attire and his beliefs to "live biblically." The audience seemed amused and intrigued with Mr. Jacob's experiment. Mr. Jacobs steps out of his cultural customs and lifestyle, to adopt different roles so that he has a better understanding of a culture, way of life or concept. 
The "es el momento" was a televised town hall meeting with president Obama, to discuss education, immigration and how the issues affect the Latino community. Although the program was televised in the Spanish language on Univision (Spanish television channel), the president received English translation via an earpiece he wore during the meeting. The president answered a variety of questions ranging from college education, school bullying to parent education. He remained calm, stood his ground and even shared his own personal experience, of how he was bullied as a child.  

In both cases, A.J. Jacobs and president Obama are confident and are able to address topics that may not be within their cultural context and or relevant to their personal experiences. They both are open-minded, share their own experiences, and captivate audiences by using humor and address topics in a respectful manner.

Regardless of the profession, one should keep in mind that, being confident, sharing personal experiences and discussing issues outside of personal context is a great way to connect with a live audience. 

Go ahead, it is never too late to share your moment and be in the spotlight! What are you waiting for? 


A.J. Jacobs' Year of Living Biblically 

Es el momento: A town hall meeting with president Obama

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