Publications & Products
Volume 4, Issue 13

Presenters Should Engage Audience Members

To deliver an excellent presentation, leaders should interact with their audience by asking questions and responding to their answers, says a communications expert.

Mike Broderick, business communications consultant, recently spoke with Forbes about what leaders can do to encourage more audience involvement in their presentations. His advice includes:

  • Be clear about the goals of your presentation. "Then think about the questions you can ask your audience to help them get down the road to these goals," he says.
  • Use polling or some other technique to engage the audience. "People can hide from general questions," Broderick says. "They can look at the other hands before responding to ‘raise your hand if...'. But anonymous polling lets people answer without repercussions. Then, when they see others feel the same way, they are more likely to ask follow-up questions."
  • React to surprising answers. "It's only interactive if you take peoples' responses seriously, adjusting the conversation to take that into account," he says. "If you don't adjust, the [question-and-answer session] is just an interlude to your presentation."

This article is from the Sept. 29, 2014 issue.

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