Presentation Principle: Keeping an audience engaged throughout the presentation is one key to success.

Do you want to read about two super easy audience engagement strategies you can immediately incorporate into your presentation practice? OK then, here we go!

I’ve written about audience engagement strategies many times (see here, here, and here)…but the two strategies I’ll share today are even easier than most and require no special equipment or materials. All you need to do is remember to use them. 

Strategy 1:

Before giving the audience a story, example, strategy or other bit of your content, ask them if they would like to hear it. It’s that simple. Instead of just telling – launching into the story – stop and ask. Don’t worry! You’re not likely to get “no” for an answer, especially if you have successfully kept them engaged up until this point.

Spice it up a bit and you’ll get some smiles and giggles if you you ask “Do you want to hear the good story or the bad story?” “Do you want the real story or the edited version?” “Do you want the easy example, or are you ready for the hard one?”

I saw an expert presenter use this one recently with an audience of 100+ and it worked like a charm!

Audience engagement: hands held up in the air

Image Credit: Hands up by Blondinrikard Fröberg via Flickr

Strategy 2:

After you have delivered some content, ask the audience to identify and reflect on a few action steps they intend to take after the presentation. You can ask them to think on their own, or work within teams if that is appropriate. The real key to this strategy, though, is asking them to state their action steps out loud. With a small audience, ask each member to share one or two action steps aloud. With a larger audience, ask them to share at their tables, or for a final interactive strategy, get them up and moving into larger groups to share their action steps. Sharing aloud increases individual accountability and may increase the likelihood that audience members will put new learning into practice.

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