Audience Involvement

Audience members sacrifice a lot to be present at your presentation, those members probably have a To Do List a mile long and a life to take care of outside of your presentation. Instead they are sitting and listening to you (,I am always tickled by that thought when I’m doing presentations myself). Since the audience has sacrificed so much, they expect to gain something from this speech, they expect to be understood and cared about.

In general the audience also craves to be a part of your presentation. You have a number of different ways to go about involving the audience. You could simply ask questions and have the audience respond by raising their hand or standing to answer the question.

You could also ask them a question that yields a silent answer like, “Do you want to learn about sheep?”

Using this method involves the audience and makes them interested. If questions aren’t your thing, then turn the presentations into a game. While volunteering at the zoo we used to throw an item around to answer the question after a question was asked. Cliché as it might sound, tossing give-a-ways into the crowd after answering a question could provide the audience with a motive to answer the question.

You could also involve the audience by making them move. I once gave a presentation about learning styles and while preparing I had posted the different learning styles onto the wall in stations. After the presentation had begun, I asked the audience to move around to which learning style they throught they were. I have seen presentations where only a few audience members were called upon to assist the presenter with a task as the remainder of the audience laughs along.

Another alternative would be to play a game. Turn your questions into a game of Jepordy or re-invent Who Wants to be a Millionare, or other card and board games to fit your presentstion.

Audience involvement could be a fantastic option to explore if you are lookng for the audience to have that lasting impression of your presentation. They will remember what you were talking about when they are re-telling the story to others about the fantastic experience they had while you were talking. It is also fun for you.

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