Is Your Audience Engaged or Disengaged…Here’s Why

Posted June 23rd, 2015 by Martin Presse with No Comments

Audiences are typically actively engaged for several reasons. For example, audiences who volunteer to attend a workshop are more apt to participate. Workshops that are directly related to work life or responsibilities also connect with audiences more frequently. Here are two more.

First, attendees become fully engaged when they thoroughly enjoy the session, connect with the speaker and feel a sense of empowerment from the material. Whenever attendees are mentally and physically engaged in a workshop they tend to enjoy the workshop more. If you notice people taking notes shortly into a workshop, talking amongst themselves, and begin to openly debate with you some of the material being covered, you’re on the right path. If they aren’t, stop talking and get them to engage physically, have them do a group exercise, or simply ask them to take a 5 minute break. During the break your job is to plan a “course correction”. This means figuring out what they need in order to become thoroughly engaged in your workshop. It might mean more class exercises, group discussion, or simply having them stand up more often as you speak. Yes, I ask my audiences to stand as I speak. Just two minutes of standing completely change the energy of the room.

The second reason audience members fully participate occurs when they see something of themselves they dislike. Metaphorically speaking, when a speaker holds up a mirror and asks the audience to carefully review the image, we sometimes see a shift in their energy. One of two things will happen. Audiences will disengage because they like or agree with the image being presented and have nothing to say about it. The second reaction will see them fully engage because they dislike the reality of the image and demand massive action to correct the image.

As a workshop leader it is your responsibility to hold up mirrors and see which images they agree and disagree with. Your role is to then generate discussion and help audiences find solutions to the myriad of challenges facing them.

Posted in: Public Speaking Business Public Speaking Skills The Business of Speaking
Tags: Alberta Speaker Booya business Canadian Speaker Edmonton Speaker Entrepreneurs Leadership Martin Presse Motivation Passion Presenting Sales Speaking Toastmasters
Written by: Martin Presse


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