As a presenter, it can be easy to feel like the most powerful person in the room. You are front and center, with all eyes on you, and are often using a microphone. However, this power stance is not an indicator of your ability to reach your audience. Whether you are pitching your product to Venture Capitalists, or informing your colleagues of new HR policies, there are a variety of reasons why your information might fall upon disengaged ears. For whoever your audience may be, here are two of Dog and Pony Shows' tried and true audience engagement tips:
1. Prepare for a Counter Argument
You audience's disengagement might stem from a logic-based disconnect. When preparing your content, think about potential counter-arguments that anyone playing the devil's advocate could formulate. By addressing an opposing view of your topic, and refuting it with your stance, you will ease audience members' cognitive dissonance regarding your topic.
2. Recognize the Personal over Political
There are a plethora of biases, lenses, perspectives, and personal experiences that will affect how your message is received by audience members. To avoid disconnection with your viewers, be sure to engage with your subject material with sensitivity to alternate interpretations and viewpoints. By validating a variety of viewpoints and experiences, you can avoid striking a nerve.
Looking for more information on relevant presentation skills? Check out the Dog and Pony Show blog post detailing how to maintain an office presence while working remotely!