On Sunday I attended a fundraiser featuring a band for whom my husband filled in as the bass guitarist (what an immense talent!).

As I listened to the band’s diverse musical set, I enjoyed the experience and clearly was not alone as many people were dancing and generally having a great time. This got me thinking about the similarity between music and public speaking. It’s all about the beat or rhythm.

When there’s a noticeable beat in music it typically evokes a positive reaction. In this case, it was people dancing and singing along. When you think about it, it’s not that different from the response of your audience to a well-delivered presentation. Even though we’re speaking, we still need to have a noticeable beat or rhythm to our message. When we don’t, our listeners may get lost and ultimately tune out. Conversely, when we do, we’re more successful at engaging the attention of our listeners and we can witness them becoming impassioned. That’s always a plus.

Since we’re on the topic of music, why not include some music in your next presentation? I’ve done this and it’s gone over quite well. Simple reason is that it’s unexpected. You can open or close with music or depending on the length of your presentation you may have some music during a break. Be sure to select music that fits well with your message or it will fall short.

So the next time you’re practicing, whether or not you opt to include music, you still want to have a noticeable beat that speaks to your audience. Let me know if you’d like to talk about how the beat goes on and we’ll make it happen.