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Enrage or Engage

Updated: May 9, 2023

People started to look at their watches to check when the finish time was. The phones started to light up to check in the outside world.

The presenter continued to speak on, to the captured audience.

He didn’t see the signs.

He didn’t read the body language.

He was on a mission.

The audience was there for him.

He didn’t know he was enraging, not engaging.

There are many nuances to presenting an engaging speech and any experienced speaker will have their bag of tricks and routine preparation behaviours.

I am the same. I have my strategies and tactics to deliver a message to an audience.

However, I always start with the objective to engage an audience, not enrage the audience. This is 101 presenting.

Every time you are in front of a group of people, you are in a privileged position. They have honoured you by giving you their greatest asset in return for an expected exchange of value. The asset is time. The value is knowledge.

It is like prepaying for an item unseen. So having this in front of mind for you to successfully exchange the expected value, you need to engage their thinking so you can deliver the knowledge.

If your presentation is prepared to engage, then a deeper thinking will occur.

You will employ strategies like using metaphors, summary triplets, alliterations and plenty more depending on your audience.

It is having the confidence that you have a swag of engagement strategies that bring the audience closer making the message cleaner. Speaking and presenting with confidence is not about imagining the audience in the nude. It is about having the confidence to know that the words you use, the gestures you make, the stories you tell, will land like a plane on a runway, with finesse and smoothness.

The audience are so enthralled with your message that time stands still and the outside world is of no consequence.

These are the signs of an engaging speaker.

What engagement strategies do you utilise to keep the audience focused on you as a speaker?

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