Integrity and authenticity are very important values both in business and in life. In this blog I am going to share how to engage your audience without being cheesy.
We have all been to events and workshops where the speaker was very over the top. “Hooray for everything” and very in your face. And you’ve sat there feeling uncomfortable.
Let me qualify something: some people really love this style. It resonates with them and their audience. If this is your presentation style and you are engaging your audience, then go for it. If you AND your audience are comfortable with this style of presenting, then great.
But if you want to engage your audience and not feel cheesy, here are some points to consider:
1. DON’T start with a joke
There is this old age belief “start with a joke; it will make everyone feel comfortable.” If this is not your style, if you feel it is inappropriate to your audience or the content you are delivering then don’t do it. Remember, be your authentic self. Authenticity and integrity are definitely the order of the day here.
2. Know your audience
In order to engage your audience, understand what it is that they want. How do they learn? Are they huggy people or are they standoff-ish? Really get to know them so you can pitch right.
3. Be a bit bigger than they need to be
This one is my favourite for engaging your audience. As I have gone through training various groups over the years, I’ve used this one a lot.
For example, if I require the audience to be able to create a change, I want to be bigger in my personality in the room so that they feel comfortable.
If I want them jumping up and down because it’s relevant to their training, I need to be the most enthusiastic. If I’m very meek and mild about it, my audience is not going to feel comfortable with jumping up and down. Think of yourself as a role model for your audience. If you are not excited about it, why should they be?
Think: how big do you need to be that’s still authentic to you so that your audience has the space to do the activities that you want them to do?
4. Get out of your own head: stay audience focused
The biggest way to be able to engage your audience without feeling cheesy is to be really audience focused. Lots of people ask me about being nervous about speaking in front of an audience and what they should do.
If you are focused on your audience and reading your audience, then you will build rapport with them.
This means staying engaged such as communicating by making eye contact and just focusing on them rather than in your own head. We often get in our own head and allow self-doubt to creep in. Focusing on your audience and what they need, will help you to stay engaged with your audience.
5. Consider what your audience needs to make a shift
In order to engage your audience, think about what it is they need to make a change you are encouraging them to make. How do they need to interact with your content to make that shift?
Is a passive interaction enough? For example, sharing an inspirational story therefore using feelings will get them engaged throughout.
Or do they need some sort of activity to make a shift? This also depends on how much time you have and the type of activities required. Pick your activities relevant to your content and the outcome that you require from them.
Hope these tips help you to engage your audience without being cheesy.
If you have any questions comment below or drop me a line Cynthia@createactionnow.com.au.
I am also curious on any tips you have for really engaging your audience.
Let’s have that 20 minute chat on how I can help you feel more confident and authentic in your business.
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Here is the YouTube video on this topic