Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

5 Golden Rules of Speaking to Promote Your Business, Without Turning Off Your Audience – Rule # 2 – Involve the Audience in the Discussion

In Presentation Tips on May 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

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Engage Your Audience - Their Questions and Comments Will Benefit the Audience and You!

Before doing new material in front of an audience, I like to bounce the ideas off of friend, family and other speakers and trainers.  That helps me get my message better honed and delivered.  But one thing I’ve noticed is that I still learn so much from my audience.  As I learn from audiences, it helps the others in the session get more valuable information and it helps me improve my content for future audiences.

I remember being on one particular webinar about using Twitter as a way to interact.  Using Twitter to ask the question, one of the participants asked, besides asking questions of the presenter, how else can you use Twitter to interact with your audience?  What a great question!  I hadn’t thought about it before.  But once I did, I thought about asking audience to tweet about what area they want to spend the most time on in a session and getting audience members to respond to a question for an informal poll.  And the question caused me to open my mind to other possible uses in the future.

Which leads me to Golden Rule # 2 – Involve the Audience in the Discussion

Treat your audience like the intelligent, capable business people that they are.  Engage them in the discussion.  With smaller audiences, ask questions.  Get audience members talking to each other and talking to you.  In larger audiences, use a conference or a session hashtag and invite audience members to tweet their questions, make comments or answer questions you pose.

Audiences don’t want to sit back and watch a talking head.  They want to be engaged.

Plus, no one individual is going to be smarter than a collective group.  Give your audience credit for what they bring to the forum and engage them in a conversation.

Your Turn!

How do you engage your audience in your presentations?  What have you learned from audience members that improved your presentation for your audience and helped you as well?  Please share your thoughts in the comment!


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