We all want a great audience, and most of the time, that’s what we get. However, sometimes we must face a tough crowd…unsmiling, stone-faced, and seemingly disengaged. What do we do? Today Darren talks with Mark  about a recent experience with a tough audience. Using lessons they both learned from being in that situation, they share common speaker mistakes and break down strategies for identifying and connecting with a tough audience.


  • It’s not if, but when you will face a tough audience
  • Some audiences don’t emote; not emoting doesn’t mean not enjoying
  • Focus on serving your audience, no matter what happens
  • Identify and address their top three frustrations and pet peeves
  • Use before rapport to understand the atmosphere, mood and environment
  • By failing to research you can create your own tough audience
  • Avoid investing all your time trying to win over a few disengaged attendees
  • Focus on those who are engaged
  • Create a strong connection early
  • Be willing to get physically close to the audience