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Great presenters connect with their audience.

They establish that connection early and continue it throughout their speaking. Notice, I didn't say throughout their "presentation." If you are really connecting, you are having a conversation within your presentation. That's what makes for a great connection.

How do you connect?

By telling stories, using examples that resonate, by asking questions, by involving your audience in your story.

How do you disconnect?

By flipping thru slides; by data dumping; by "telling and yelling"; by ignoring the clues your audience is sending you.

How would you connect with someone at a party or event? You'd ask them questions, you'd listen, you'd talk about something they were concerned about, you'd be a human being who showed respect, and you'd try to be interesting! Same rules apply when speaking to a large or small group.

Next time you prepare for a speaking event, keep the idea of connections as a thread you weave throughout your talk. You and your audience will be better off connected than disconnected!

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Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com