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Do You Humanize Your Speaking with Your Audience?
Frank DiBartolomeo --  Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals Frank DiBartolomeo -- Presentation Coach For Technical Professionals
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Centreville, VA
Sunday, March 31, 2024


“Talk to someone about themselves, and they will listen for hours.”

– Dale Carnegie, American writer and lecturer, and the developer of courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking

People listen to what they like, and people that think are like them.

Humanizing your public speaking can make your presentations more relatable and engaging. When your presentations are more relatable and engaging for your audience, they grasp your message more quickly and thoroughly.

Isn’t that what we all want as speakers?

Below are three ways to humanize your speaking:


Everyone loves a story. I am not a psychologist, but I believe I am on safe ground, saying it is practically impossible for humans to resist becoming engrossed in a good story. Do you tell stories in your presentations? You miss a golden opportunity to humanize your speaking if you don’t.

Don’t think you have relevant stories to tell your audience? Think again. You have plenty of them.

Incorporate personal anecdotes or stories that relate to your topic. Good stories are good, but good personal stories are better because you are more believable in telling a story you have experienced.

Your stories invoke an emotional response from your audience. Your audience remembers much more about how they feel than how they think.

Your stories allow your audience to empathize with the characters or situations in your stories. When your audience is more emotionally attached to your stories, they will fully remember your message.

Your stories illustrate an example of the message you are trying to convey to your audience. This allows your audience to grasp your message more quickly and more thoroughly. Sharing real-life experiences can help your audience connect with you on a deeper level and make your message more memorable.

Your stories allow you to express your personality and values. They demonstrate your willingness to be open and genuine – two traits that will please your audience and make them remember your message.

Be authentic and genuine in your storytelling, allowing your personality to shine. Your audience will be drawn to you and your message.

So, telling stories is an excellent way to humanize your speaking.

Another great way is to use humor.

Use Humor

Humor is a powerful tool for connecting with your audience.

By incorporating tasteful humor into your presentations, you can create a sense of camaraderie with your audience.

When people laugh together, they feel a sense of connection. Laughing is something being shared by everyone in the audience and the presenter. Things that are shared with others create bonds between them.

Humor has a unique ability to capture and hold your audience’s attention. A well-timed joke or witty remark can break up the monotony of a presentation and reenergize the room.

Humor can also make complex or dry topics more accessible and memorable, as people are likelier to remember information presented entertainingly.

People like other people who make them laugh. People listen to people they like and are attentive to their message.

Injecting appropriate jokes or light-hearted moments into your speech can break the ice, ease the tension, and create a more relaxed atmosphere.

Just be sure to tailor your humor to your audience and topic, and avoid anything that could be offensive or insensitive. The safest humor is poking fun at yourself. However, you must be careful in poking fun at yourself. Do this too much, and you risk losing credibility with your audience.

One final word on humor. Humor is not telling non-stop jokes. Humor is telling your audience about a funny situation when, and only when, it supports your presentation’s message.

Remember, never let humor “take center stage.” Your message should be center stage.

So, telling stories and using humor are great ways to humanize your speaking.

The final way to humanize your speaking is to interact with your audience.

Interact with Your Audience

Engage your audience by asking questions, encouraging participation, making eye contact, and acknowledging individuals throughout your speech.

This helps create a sense of connection and involvement, making your audience feel like active participants rather than passive observers.

Additionally, be open to feedback and questions, fostering a dialogue rather than a one-sided presentation.

Instead of just lecturing to your audience, invite them into a dialogue with you. Encourage comments, questions, and discussions throughout your presentation. When you actively seek your audience’s comments and questions, it shows you value what they say.

Interacting with your audience allows you to tailor your presentation to the wants and needs of your audience. For instance, conducting a poll with your audience gives you real-time feedback as to what they are thinking concerning your subject.

When people see that their input directly influences the direction of the presentation, they feel more connected and engaged with the material.

Interacting with your audience provides opportunities to build relationships and foster connections. I make it a point to arrive at my presentation venue at least an hour before my presentation.

This gives me time to test my audio/visual setup. It also allows me to greet people individually, ask about their experiences or opinions, and make genuine connections. This interaction has a significant effect on how I deliver my presentation.

So, telling stories, using humor, and interacting with your audience are great ways to humanize your speaking.

The degree to which you relate to others, including your audience, is directly proportional to how you humanize your speaking.

You are speaking to people with more things on their minds besides your presentation. It is your job as a speaker to humanize your speaking and draw your audience ever so closer to your message.

Call to Action

In delivering your presentations

  • Tell personal stories to forge a deeper relationship with your audience.

  • Use humor to get your audience laughing – laughter focuses your audience’s attention on your message.

  • Interact with your audience often; find out what they think about your message and respond to them appropriately.

“The most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. The storyteller sets the vision, values, and agenda of an entire generation that is to come.”

– Steve Jobs, American businessman, inventor, and investor best known for co-founding the technology giant Apple Inc.

Frank DiBartolomeo is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and award-winning speaker, presentation and interview skills coach, and Professional Member of the National Speakers Association. He was awarded Toastmasters International’s highest individual award, Distinguished Toastmaster because of his outstanding work in public speaking and leadership.

Frank formed DiBartolomeo Consulting International (DCI), LLC (www.speakleadandsucceed.com) in 2007. The mission of DCI is to help technical professionals to inspire, motivate, and influence their colleagues and other technical professionals by improving their presentation skills, communication, and personal presence. Reach Frank at frank@speakleadandsucceed.com and (703) 509-4424.


Don’t miss Frank DiBartolomeo’s latest book!

“Speak Well and Prosper: Tips, Tools, and Techniques for Better Presentations”

Available now at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Frank DiBartolomeo, Jr.
Title: President
Group: DiBartolomeo Consulting International, LLC
Dateline: Centreville, VA United States
Cell Phone: (703) 509-4424
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