Archive for June 25, 2010

Audience Engagement

I was speaking in Pleasant Hill last week at a Meetup group and took a big leap of faith and combined one of my business presentations “7 Techniques to Thrive in Any Economy” with the Law of Attraction.

One of my favorite practices in speaking is to get to the event early enough to talk with the majority of the attendees. It had never occurred to me before, but the group was very much aware of the Law of Attraction and the movie The Secret. So it made sense.

I wove my stories into the “7 Techniques” but spent about half of the time relating the stories to doing business in a conscious manner. It was easy to do and more natural than I would have thought.

The more I tied the two topic together, the more attentive the audience became. It was amazing to see each one them truly focusing on my presentation.

You will typically have about half of the audience writing notes, checking text messages and even day dreaming. I found it’s easier to keep the audience engaged with stories, but one thing I realized was by walking through the audience it was difficult for them to be distracted.

I think it might have something to do with a flashback to being in school . . . :)

Story Telling

I have mentioned I go to at least one speaking course every year to improve my skills. About four years ago I went to a training in Denver and the one thing I learned from the 4-day training was how to create the stories, cut the fluff and organize the stories in a way I could use them for multiple messages such as inspirational, motivational, learning techniques or attention getting.

One of the criteria they had was to keep each story under five minutes and there had to be a laugh, attentionĀ  getting moment or emotional reaction every 30 to 60 seconds. It was extremely difficult at first and the more I worked on the technique the more natural it seemed.

First I made a list of all the incidents in my life that were noteworthy. I didn’t leave anything out. I started with about 20 but then expanded it to more than 75 before the weekend was out.

Next I wrote out the stories so I had all the details and then eliminated the extra words until I could tell the story in less than 5 minutes. The hard part was delivering a reactionary point each 30 – 60 seconds. But once I got the hang of it, it really works.

Then I printed out a copy of each of the stories and organized them into various categories so when I was presenting a speech I could immediately grab a story that would be suitable for each presentation.

This technique will help you organize great presentations with much less effort.