Ok – I think this is going to be the last post in this ongoing series. Let’s recap quickly. If you are in sales – you are an influencer. Your purpose is to engage your audience and there is no engagement in a monologue – you need to move to a dialogue (a sales conversation).
To read all of the earlier posts – click on the links to the side.
Last week we talked about creating dialogue through questions and listening in a small group or one on one sales presentation – but I have had several people ask how you do that if you are presenting to a large group. – Well I’m glad you asked. 🙂
Speaking done right should be a dialogue and not just a monologue. I don’t mean that in the traditional sense of back and forth conversation but if you want engagement from your audience they should be participating in the speech. So how do you do that?
A speech is a dialogue between the presenter and the inner voice of the audience members. As a presenter our job is to keep the audience engaged and involved.
So here are what I call The 5 Tools of Engagement.
1. Humor is a great way to keep the audience involved (as a caution – humor needs to be natural, if you are not funny – don’t try too hard)
2. Shock is another way to engage an audience. If you can say something that is shocking, or catches people off guard, you will have their attention.
3. Questions – as you speak to groups, you should ask questions that create curiosity and reenforce relatability. Questions that cause them to participate. (Such as – can you relate to that?) When you ask those questions, you need to insert a pause, give time for people to answer the question in their mind.
4. Audience Participation Opportunities – When you speak to groups you can get them involved. Have them write something down as an exercise. Have them raise their hand in an answer to a question. Have them discuss a concept with their neighbor and then share their ideas. (note – I am not a fan of cheesy audience participation tactics. Such as – stand up, touch your mind and say I am a genius!) I think that we can be more natural than that and still get people involved without turning them off.
5. Make your message about them. As a speaker, your ideas, concepts and stories should be relatable to your audience. The most important word in speaking is “You”. If you make a point – bring it back to the audience. (How does it apply to them?) If you tell a story, bring the audience into the story. If you teach a concept, make sure that the audience knows and understands how to apply that concept in their life. Make your message about the audience.
A presentation or a speech to a group becomes an engaging conversation if you apply these five tools.