Listeners who are actively engaged in your presentation will remember more and are more likely to act on what you say. You might engage them intellectually, emotionally, visually, and/or physically. You must decide what techniques will work with each audience. Be careful not to overdo any technique and not to embarrass your audience. There are many subtle and overt ways that you can engage your audience. Here are 10 ideas for you.
1. Ask a question that prompts them to raise their hand or nod their head. Tell them and/or show them how you want them to respond.
2. Select volunteers from the audience to help you with an exercise or role play.
3. Mention names of audience members – but always in a positive way.
4. Talk about people in the audience, their products, their challenges and their organization. (Do your research.)
5. Relate to them on the most common denominator – tell a story about your family.
6. Ask a question that you want them to answer.
7. Pose a rhetorical question.
8. Make them laugh.
9. Assign an activity to do in small groups, e.g. shake hands, discuss an issue, or practise their 30 second message.
10. Tell them to take notes or to write a point down.
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