Mar 31, 2009

Pick of the Week: Audience Engagement Should Add Value

Audience engagement is essential in any presentation. In my earlier posts (Feb 5 & Feb 7) I had talked in detail about what do we mean by engagement and how to engage the audience.

But should you engage the audience just for the heck of it?
Meaningless engagement will not add any value to your presentation or the audience.
Olivia Mithcell's March 25 post talks about getting the maximum value from audience engagement.

Here is a summary of the main points in her post:

1. Audience will not start to engage unless they have built a comfort level with you and have started trusting you.

2. Involve the audience only where it will add value to them and to the presentation
3. Do not single out your audience and ask questions. It might put them in an awkward situation. You can make them talk in pairs (to each other).

4. Prepare beforehand the questions you will ask in the presentation.
Do your homework on where you want to engage the audience with which question.
5. Give clear instructions to the audience. Do not hurry. Better, write down the instructions on the slide. The audience needs to be given time to understand and follow the steps.

6. Keep the control of the presentation in your hand. Pull the audience back into the presentation tactfully. Do not let the presentation go haywire.

However, be ready to share some control of the presentation because you are engaging the audience. Be ready to manage deviations in time once audience engagement picks up.
Read her informative post to know more.

What has been your experience of audience engagement? How have you fared? What works, what doesn't?

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