How to Engage Your Audience
No matter who your audience is…
… how long you have to speak, what your subject is, or whether you are speaking in person or virtually, you can captivate your audience quickly and easily.
Learn from Hollywood movies, and consider the “flavor scene” you set with your opening remarks.
The purpose of your opening is to arouse interest in your subject.
When you look at the Fripp speech model, you will see a circle at the top and one at the bottom. These represent the first and last 30 seconds of your presentation. It is important to connect immediately with the audience and close on a high.
We don’t necessarily write the opening of the presentation first.
However, you must be aware of how important it is. David Freeman, a screenwriting teacher, calls the opening the “Flavor Scene.” The audience will be influenced by the first 30 seconds to two minutes.
We want them to think, “Wow, this is going to be good.” Or “What an interesting approach.” Or “This is better than I expected.” As you put together your remarks, ask yourself, “What is the audience thinking as they come into the presentation? Are they interested in my subject?” Or “Why is it of specific interest to them?” “Why am I the best person to address this subject?” “Are they aware of my credentials?”
You need to be aware of who they are.
You need to be aware of who they are. Are there different segments or makeups of the audience? If so, make sure you know who they are.
After your opening, introduce your premise, your central theme, or the importance of the subject. As you heard in the last chapter, the dictionary defines a premise as “a basis of argument leading to a conclusion.” Once you have introduced the premise, the central theme, or the subject, use whatever phrase makes the most sense to you.
All presenters want to engage their audience.
Take these suggestions and you will never look out and see eyes glaze over when you are in front of a crowd.