Ever feel like you’re the odd person out? Or that you simply don’t fit in? Most of us have had this experience first hand and generally find it undesirable. It’s pretty normal to want to be accepted whether it’s in a personal or business situation. For ease of discussion, let’s refer to it as the “pea in the pod” scenario. Make sense?

As a speaker, you have multiple priorities with which to concern yourself. Clearly one of those priorities is connecting with your audience as well as helping them to connect with one another. Sometimes this can be challenging so let’s explore eight options.

1. Know your audience makeup by doing some advance analysis. The less surprised you are, the better.
2. When you know as much as you can about your audience, you’re better equipped to address their needs, which they’ll sincerely value.
3. Sprinkle your presentation with relevant stories that will help build rapport with your audience. They’ll see you as a human being as well as a presenter.
4. Where appropriate, use examples so your audience can more readily grasp stated ideas.
5. Encourage audience interaction by creating meaningful exercises or activities to help reinforce an idea or concept.
6. Personalize your communication by addressing audience members by their name.
7. Periodically ask insightful questions to elicit responses.
8. Thank people who ask or answer questions or make useful comments and let them know their participation is valued. It feels good to be thanked for a contribution you’ve made.

While being accepted for who we are is something we all desire, most of us want to fit in, like a pea in a pod. That comes about as the result of connecting and that’s your job as a speaker. Communication counts!