Connecting with Your Audience

Sean Adams
11 October 2019 12:31:36 Comment(s)

An essential part of effective communication is being able to connect with your audience.

Another Monday and another opportunity to celebrate communication excellence. One of the aspects of communication that people often find themselves most challenged with is the ability to connect with the audience. This commencement speech from J. K. Rowling at Harvard is an excellent example of a speaker establishing rapport and connection with the audience quickly, making her important message resonate more effectively.

You will notice that from the beginning she makes connections with people that will resonate with everyone, including those graduating and there to support the graduates. She uses themes (Gryffindor reunion) that people will know to get people listening more intently to see what she will say next. She also uses a substantial amount of humor to grow the connection with the audience (having a laugh about what she remembered from her commencement speech).


She also ensures she sets a serious tone as well to let the audience know that what she is going to say is important, but keeps the humor coming throughout to keep people comfortable and in a place of fun and joy.


As you watch the video look for the way the audience is connecting with her, leaning forward at times, leaning back relaxed in a state to take in the wisdom at other times. These are all integral to being able to connect with an audience and deliver your message effectively.