Commanding your space!
It is sometimes tricky and seems nearly impossible to command or take control of a large group.
There are some key areas to doing this and from my 15 years of experience facilitating team building events with a variety of group sizes i have some relief for you.
Its really important for eye contact with the group. So a suitable position in the room so you can personally address your information to as many eyes as possible. Sometimes a 3 – 5 second space looking at someone will personally in vote them to be involved and absorb what you are saying. So if you are stuck in a corner or have you side or back to some delegates then this is not possible. Ensure a centred and possibly elevated position to address the group.
Having a clear and precise sound is key! Everyone must be able to hear you clearly and loud enough so they don’t have to struggle to hear you. If the sound enters their ears easily they will certainly take more in. We have all been in situations when we couldn’t hear the speaker and what happens everyone start looking around at each other and disconnecting..
If you start your address with an introduction about yourself and feed them elements that you think they will relate to or like you for. By this is don’t mean your favourite foods or tv shows i mean by sounding trustworthy, likeable and helpful to them. I recently addressed a group of 275 delegates and started by introducing myself and the event i was facilitating and as it was a bike building event i related it to the Tour De France as it was currently on. That promote some connection to a lot of people so they tuned in. This can happen in many way and sometimes its best to have a few topics on a palm card and go wherever you get the interest.
Adding some humour can be uplifting but also can be detrimental to your initiation. Try including possible some funny scenarios or linking to a joke you have herd but stay on topic. Going on a tangent with an unrelated joke is pointless and may come across as you trying to hard and may seem tacky. To give you an example: I was giving as i mentioned an address about building bikes so i asked the group to raise their hands if they have never built a bike from scratch before? About 150 hands went up out of 275! This was funny in its self, however i then said keep your hand up if you don’t know what a shifter is? (A shifter is a shifting spanner to build the bikes with) about 120 hands stayed in the air! I quoted its going to be a fun day! Simple to the point and gained a chuckle from everyone. The humour was on topic and fun. I also asked if there was any cyclists i the room at which there were about 10 so that made a connection straight away with them. I then did a quick referral to the The Tour De France..