It is said that the amount of energy in the universe is constant. Energy is neither created nor destroyed. It is only changed from one form to another. The fat in your body is potential energy waiting to be turned into kinetic energy. A lump of coal is waiting to be burned and turned into fire. Your audience has energy waiting to be turned into excitement, sadness, laughter, surprise, etc.
All presentations change energy from one form to another. A waiting or bored audience member is just a lump of potential energy waiting to be turned into another form of energy. The experience of your presentation should be built around these three questions:
1. What form of energy are you wanting to tap into?
2. How do you plan on making this change happen?
3. What are you going to do with your audience after you've altered their energy?
The next time you are faced with an audience that aren't responding the way you had planned, don't blame it on them - blame your strategies. They are either not changing their potential energy into kinetic (i.e. they are doing nothing) or they are changing it into a different kinetic form than you'd hoped. Your job is to figure out how to get that energy focused on your presentation's needs.
The seeds of that change are in connecting the audience members' needs with your presentation's needs. These needs include:
- Intellectual stimulation
- Social interaction
- New and fresh content
- New solutions
My speaking associate, Kelly Barnes, sums up how we get the potential energy of our audience turned into kinetic energy in a big way:
The MOVE formula
(Making Optimal VAK Environments)
Move my feet... get music going
Move my eyes... get visuals up
Move my ears.... get me up to speed on what we are going to do
Move my mouth... get me talking to others
Move my brain... get me thinking
Move me... get me physically moving on purpose
Move on.... get to the point