Whether you look into the audience’s eyes from behind a podium or send your content into the world through print or the internet, we all want to know how to engage our audience and activate them in some way. Our hope is that the passion we embed in our spoken or written words will penetrate and move them on some level.
As a speaker, I’m always thinking about how to engage my audience and it’s my personal goal for every presentation. As an author, my goal is the same. But what’s really behind making this happen? As communicators, do we know how to engage an audience to make our message as powerfully activating as possible? I believe there are three basic needs that we can tap into to have our audience and/or readers up on their feet in no time.
Make them feel important. From the time we are born we cry for attention and want to know that we matter in the world. It’s a basic human need for us to feel important, and it’s a need we can tap into as communicators. By acknowledging our audience for who they are, praising their achievements and addressing their greatest challenges, we show our audience that they are indeed, important to us. We can display empathy for their pain points and rejoice with them over their victories. By sharing our knowledge in word or print, we show our appreciation for them. By offering a material token of this same information, such as a handy guide, infographic or small token gift, we make them feel even more important!
Give them an experience. Telling someone about something is never as effective as letting them experience it themselves. When we experience things, we learn two ways—mentally as well as kinetically, with our bodies, muscles and senses. In a presentation, you can achieve this by getting the audience up on their feet or using audience participation to help drive home your main points. Retreats utilize awareness exercises to engulf participants in their consciousness to reveal, discover and learn new things. In a book or piece of content, you can give readers an experience by framing a narrative in an original way or using images to connect them visually to the information they need to have. A speech or book may leave our memory, but an experience deliciously lingers in our soul!
Let Them Be Part of Something Bigger. Right up there with the human need to feel important is the human need to feel useful. Everyone likes to know they are making a difference. For many, this means being part of a bigger picture, or cause. At JJR Marketing, we call the branch of marketing that embraces this area, “cause marketing,” and it is a powerful way for companies to reach out to the community. By partnering with a non-profit organization and providing services, admissions, support or even volunteers for a cause, everyone wins. When speaking, appeal to the bigger picture or cause. When writing, entertain scenarios of what could be if everyone worked together. We all have the need to do good. Show and tell your audience how it’s done!
While figuring out how to engage an audience may seem complicated, keeping these three basic motivators in mind as you put together your presentation or article. And if you are ever in need of a dynamic keynote speaker who is experienced in activating an audience, please don’t hesitate to call me!
Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz is the CEO of JJR Marketing (www.jjrmarketing.com) and Fig Factor Media LLC (www.todayslatina.com), founder of The Fig Factor Foundation (www.thefigfactor.org), author of eight books (www.jackiecamacho.com), international speaker, and pilot. Jacqueline speaks to hundreds of audiences about marketing, servant leadership, finding your passion, and achieving success in business. She has addressed the United States Army, BP International, United Airlines, Allstate, and Farmers Insurance among other corporations to share her inspiration.
If you or an organization you know needs as speaker, please get in touch with us at http://www.jackiecamacho.com/contact.