Three Rules to Connect to Your Audience

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Engagement is the key element to running a successful and effective meeting or presentation.

If your goal is to deliver to your listeners the true value of your message and ensure they take action on your suggestions, you must engage them. Their comprehension and information retention are a direct function of their involvement.

Memories of our school days can serve as a great example to my point. Teachers and professors have always belonged to two distinct categories: those who taught reciting their lecture format and those who simply involved the class. With the former, many of us had to frequently shift in our seats or resort to take sporadic notes to stay awake. The latter instead kept our level of focus high by naturally involving us in their presentations — answering and asking questions, suggesting ideas, forming a group, etc.

Chances are that your average client, just like the rest of us, enjoyed the classes taught by an instructor who engaged the students and promoted their direct involvement in the discussion. I’d like to offer you three simple rules that you can follow to ensure that every meeting you conduct, be it with clients or staff, will be meaningful and engaging:

Indentify the Greatest Common Denominator
As human beings, experiencing something on a collective level prompts us to talk about it any time we have the opportunity. Engagement is simply connecting experiences that drive reflection and conversation. This will in turn prompt your clients to talk about you, your strategies, your service, and your brand to other potential prospects.

The Element of Surprise
Connect to your audience in an unexpected manner. Engage them with real-life stories, anecdotes, relevant jokes. This is what they will likely remember the most about you and your ideas or services, once the presentation is over.  Think about the meaningful meetings you have attended in your life. They meant something to you because their quality was unique and consequently you still keep a vivid memory of them.

One Focus: Your Audience!
Your audience is the star of the show and as such you must engage them by focusing on their needs. Proactively interact with your audience and request their feedback. An engaged audience is your strongest ally — one that will easily retain your message, act upon it and, ultimately, share it with potential new clients.

As always, I’d welcome your comments.

Claudio Pannunzio
i-Impact Group Inc.
Greenwich, Conn.

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