How To Make A Hostile Audience Love You
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Are you dealing with a hostile audience? Trying to handle hecklers when giving a speech? Learn how to present to an audience that does not like you. Turn a hostile crowd into a receptive audience that'll hang on your every word. These tips will help you deal with tough crowds, hecklers, and a hostile group of people.

Many of us struggle with how to deal with a communication breakdown when it happens. (1) This could be because we’re caught off-guard and was not expecting it. (2)  Or because we’re not equipped to handle it properly. 

Today I’m giving you some tools to use in a communication conundrum. 

Over the course of this miniseries we’re going to walk through various scenarios and learn how to resolve them. The fifth video is about 8 ways you can hold yourself accountable for your communication progress. So be sure to keep an eye on Explearning Communications’ videos in this miniseries (it’ll have its own playlist)

This will help you (1) avoid communication conundrums in the future but in the event that they do occur it will help you (2) deal with the issue in the best way possible. 

You’ll notice that all of the strategies we’ll be Explearning are about assuming full responsibility as opposed to placing blame on the other people involved. 

Shifting the focus on you by taking responsibility is empowering. You will come to see that your communication events are within your control and you’ll be able to take the reins and get the successful outcomes you desire, Explearners. 

They’re highly practical and will help make your interpersonal interactions and speech events tremendously smoother. 

Today the conundrum we’re focusing on is hecklers. 

Scenario #1: Getting heckled during a speech

Heckling happens. Some examples include people come in late, causing disruptions. They chat with the person sitting next to them, they’re preoccupied with their phones or they might get up and leave. 

Instead of blaming them for their rude behavior, take responsibility. We’re not condoning their poor manners, but we’re shifting the focus on you. Because you cannot control anyone else but yourself.

And the success of your communication is within your control. 

Here’s a simple mindset shift. Note the difference between saying:

Thinking "That was a tough crowd, they were disengaged and highly disrespectful"  doesn’t help you.

Say this instead: It would seem that the speech wasn’t as engaging as it could’ve been. Maybe the audience couldn’t connect with the talk because it was not relevant to them. Maybe the content was ok but the delivery could have been better?

Shifting focus on you is a much more constructive way of improving your talk for next time. Even though it turned into a communication this time around. 

Let’s unpack how we can remedy this communication conundrum of heckling. Because there was something about that talk that wasn’t able to get through to the audience.

(1) Tip 1: Get audience feedback and figure out what went wrong? 

Was it the content?

Was it your delivery?

Was it something about the space you were in?

Maybe it was so dry and boring. There was no entertainment factor or any levity sprinkled throughout. 

(2) Tip 2: Carve out some more practice time to rehearse your speech

It’s not enough to know the subject of the talk

You need to practice the talk with the body language you plan to incorporate, with the inflection patterns, with the types of examples

Practice pacing the room

Make it a priority to practice it in the way you would perform it (not just read off your paper / notes / script)

Public speaking is a performance and you need to practice it in that way 

(3) Tip 3: Learn about the audience and about your target demographic to be able to connect with them

You’ve done research on the topic you’re going to present

But have you figured out who your audience will be and what makes them tick?

Learn about their age group, demographic, interests.

Any intel you can gather on them will be highly valuable to you

It’ll what enable them to connect to you and identify with your message

(4) Tip 4: You might also benefit from seeking help from a professional communications coach

It’s always helpful to get a second opinion before the big day

A coach can help fine tune your presentation skills before you perform it

When you are given quality feedback and constructive criticism, you’re able to apply it in a targeted way to increase your performance

Feedback is one of the best ways to get to the next level because if it’s quality feedback it can be so powerful

Let’s quickly recap before we go. 

The issue is getting heckled in your speech. The solution is given to you in 4 tips: (1) audience feedback (2) practicing as you were to perform it (3) research your audience (4) get quality professional feedback

Alright Explearners, that’s it for the first installment of the multi-part mini-series. Stay tuned for the other articles (and video lessons). It has its own playlist on our YouTube channel, so check it out 😊

Happy Explearning 🐝

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive interpersonal skills, and personal development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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