How to connect with stadium-sized audiences

Delivering a speech to tens of thousands demands a different approach. Here’s how to prep your execs for major addresses.

Delivering a speech to tens of thousands demands a different approach. Here’s how to prep your execs for major addresses

In a daring move, the Barack Obama campaign announced earlier this month that the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate will give his acceptance speech at Denver’s Invesco Field football stadium, instead of the convention hall. By doing so, Obama will be speaking to a live audience of about 80,000, as opposed to the 20,000-odd crowd at the Pepsi Center.

The campaign hopes to use the crowd to create a sense of historical inevitability about Obama’s run for the White House (as well as some spectacular photo ops). But the switch to such an enormous venue creates speech-giving challenges that are already raising questions about the candidate’s ability to engage 80,000 people while also playing to the millions watching on TV.

When your executives are called to address a larger crowd than usual—perhaps at a convention or trade show—how do you make sure they’re just as dynamic and engaging as when they’re taking to a few dozen people? Public speaking experts offer these words of advice for execs that need to reach the rafters.

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