As a leader, manager, or sales rep, engagement methods are a routine part of your work life. From greeting colleagues to entertaining shareholders, it pays to be able to hold someone’s attention and bring them around to your way of thinking. But it isn’t easy, so here are some tips.
First, Understand Your Audience
Knowing yourself is a common phrase that you can live your life by. But when it comes to your career and attaining an audience, you must know them. Before any engagement, whether it’s a speaking conference, a committee meeting, or even taking to Twitter, understanding the audience is paramount. For online activities and customer engagement, you can use data analytics (https://txidigital.com/services/analyze) services and software for multiple metrics.
Engagement Methods Include Interest
Even the best thought-out and planned conferences can be a washout if your audience becomes disinterested. Many might think they are wasting their time, and others may think they don’t even have a reason to stay. So give them one. Engage your audience in such a way that you make sure they listen to you and take in what you say. Now, this is a skill. But the trick is to get them excited. For example, you can use inspirational, life-changing stories and testimonials.
Stay On Topic and within Subjects
Nobody likes to watch something they have no interest in and doesn’t relate to them. Because of this, going off-topic when engaging any audience is a cardinal sin. Try to only speak or engage about the things your audience is there to hear. Writing a script is a massive help with this, as winging it means you can go off on a tangent and begin speaking about something else. No one wants to hear about a topic or niche that doesn’t directly relate to their business.
Improve Audience Concentration
Some speaking engagements can be long-winded. And often, they can feel like a lecture more than an entertaining presentation. So, try these simple tips to keep your audience’s attention:
- Use a combination of slides and flip charts if you have a lot of data to present.
- Bring a colleague on stage to actively and openly discuss a topic in a dialog.
- Present some of your ideas while sitting and others while moving and standing.
- Include video productions of other people, such as customers, in your presentation.
- Build intensity and excitement with stage acting methods such as long silences.
The days of long and boring stage presentations are gone. People will leave if you don’t entertain them. So try to keep your show as fluid and engaging as possible, kind of like a play.
Think About the Flow of Your Engagement
A good flow to your speaking engagements or presentations is key to success. But this is one of the more challenging aspects of the whole concept. You must keep the audience’s attention by making your points in an easy-to-understand way without being too simple or too difficult. Your audience should think a little but not fry their brains. For example, going through a series of flowcharts quickly will bore most people. So break up data with summarized explanations.
Try using Stories with Engagement Methods
One of the best ways to keep people interested in what you are saying is to make examples through storytelling. You can present your entire show as a story or insert short and relevant anecdotal stories in-between data sets. The reason this is essential is that people will listen more intently and actively when you present data, especially complex data, in a story format. Even the words “here’s a story” will make people perk up and listen to what you have to say.
Open Up a Dialog with the Audience
Speaking and engaging don’t have to be a one-way street. In fact, your audience is more likely to take on board what you say if you let them become part of it. To do this, simply open a dialog with them. This is great for bouncing ideas between people. But it also helps your audience take a bit of a break from listening and relaxing by talking. It also establishes some trust with your audience, as they feel you care about what they have to say by engaging with them in this way.
There are many engagement methods you can use as a leader. Most will apply to speaking to large audiences. But you can also apply some methods to your everyday work life. It helps to know an audience, keep their focus on what you say, and get them involved in a conversation.