Here are some tips on how you can have the audience listen in rapt attention.
1. Speak according to the listeners’ interests- It is always a good idea to find out what the crowd you are speaking to is interested in. For example, if you have more teenagers in the crowd, you don’t really want to talk about your subject in a way that bores them, like good education. Other aspects to consider would be the local culture, age, sports, religious inclinations, etc. Talk about what’s important to them, something they can easily relate to without a stretch of imagination.
2. Praise the audience- Audiences are human too, and most people have a desire to be acknowledged as much as you want to be acknowledged for speaking in front of them. There is only one requirement for this maxim, that your praise be one hundred percent sincere. Anything less and you’ll have resentment in your hands.
3. Connect with the audience- Find a common thread that makes the audience relate to you, and you’ll find that the speech will come through really well. Finding a common thread humanizes you and the speech. It makes them want to listen to you because it may in some way be of great benefit to them.
4. Have the audience participate- Get somebody to come onstage and participate in a demonstration. Ask questions of the audience. Get feedback. The point is to involve the audience, once more, making it more real to them. Taking them along with you in your experience.
5. Less you, more them- Play yourself down. Nobody, especially an audience, likes to be lectured to. This will cause resentment that will last a long time. Never feel that you are above them. The better way to think about your audience would be that you care about their welfare. Think of yourself as their best friend, and more often than not, this will hold you in good stead.