Monday, September 14, 2009

Audience Engagement Quick Tips

* Get on the audience's level to build rapport and break down perceived and actual barriers.

* The first 30 seconds are vital to establishing credibility and setting the tone of the presentation.

* Build in questions throughout the presentation instead of having a Q&A session at the end. You want to be in control of the last few minutes and make them as powerful as the first 30 seconds.

* Don't hang out at the front of the room. Mix and mingle with the audience when you have them doing activities or interacting.

* Pull information from the audience through specific questions, having them share with a partner and then with the group, give them challenges that engage their curiosity or expertise, etc.

* Cover a smaller variety of information and go deeper into the info you do cover. Better to give them time to play around with 3 points than to skim over 10 points.

* Tap into the emotional connection the audience has with the topic and when they get emotional, leverage it. I.e. - if you get them laughing, hit them with a serious point. If you get them in a somber state, crack a light joke. The scale is emotion on one side and no emotion on the other. Instead of what some people think - serious on one side and fun on the other.

* If you want them to actually learn your content and have them take action on it, have them write things down (unless you are giving a traditional, story-based keynote.)

* Use variety in volume, pace and tone to give the audience a boost in attention. I.e. - when using the microphone, pull it away from your mouth or simply don't use it from time to time when making big points and that volume change will cause the audience to have to listen even closer. (Make sure if you use this tactic that the audience can actually hear you when not using the microphone.)

* Remember that everyone listens differently. Just because someone isn't looking at you or isn't taking notes doesn't mean they aren't taking your stuff in.

* Have the audience physically move during longer programs (60-minutes or more). This could be as simple as switching seats with a partner, do an up and moving around activity or turning their chairs to face a different direction.


Missouri FCCLA said...

I just posted "Is Your Audience Yawning" and linked to your post. Thanks for providing great resources that I can pass along to our FCCLA officers and members!

Oklahoma DECA 2009-2010 said...

Just what Oklahoma DECA needed before Fall Leadership. Thanks for the reminder!!!