How to Engage Your Audience
No matter who your audience is…
…how long you have to speak, what your subject is about, or if you are speaking in person or virtually, there is a quick easy way to captivate your audience.
Learn from Hollywood movies and consider what screen-writing teacher David Freeman calls the “flavor scene” you are setting with your opening remarks. The purpose of the opening of your presentation is to arouse interest in your subject.
When you look at the Fripp speech model, you will see the circle at the top and the circle at the bottom. These represent the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds of your presentation. It is important to come out and immediately connect with the audience, and close on a high.
We don’t necessarily write the opening of the presentation first.
However, you do need to be aware of how important it is. David Freeman, a screenwriting teacher calls the opening, the Flavor Scene. The audience will be very 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 are putting together your remarks, ask yourself, “What is the audience thinking as they come into the presentation?” “Are they interested in your subject?” Or, “Why is it of specific interest to them? “Why are you the best person to address this subject?” “Are they aware of your credentials?”
You need to be aware of who they are.
Are there different segments or makeups of the audience? If so, you need to make sure that they know that, you know, they are they.
After your opening, introduce your premise, your central theme, or, the importance of the subject. As you heard in the last chapter, the dictionary definition of a premise is, a basis of argument leading to a conclusion. Once you’ve introduced the premise, the central theme, or the subject, you 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.