All eyes might be on you, but you’d be a fool to keep the conversation one-sided. Remembering that it doesn’t matter how you feel can do wonders to alleviate any kind of tension in the air.
Keep your audience engaged by turning things back on them. Asking a question is one way to do it. But instead of worrying about what’s a good or bad question, let’s focus on how you handle the question.
This has to be one of my pet peeves: a speaker, who gets his audience worked up, asks the crowd a question. People in the crowd are really engaged and give a response. But the speaker just moves on because s/he’s more focused on hitting the next bullet point.
The connection with the audience takes a huge hit because the speaker comes across as dismissive.
Be sure to take time to acknowledge the responses people give you– even just a slight nod can leave an impact.