10 Steps to Your Success

Motivate Your Audience

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You’re in front of your audience. They are looking at you. Some look interested and some look tired. What are you going to do to motivate them besides present clearly and confidently. Here are several ideas, and then you’ll learn about the visual, auditory and kinesthetic modes of processing information.

  1. Give them some food. If it is four o’clock in the afternoon, your audience is tired and their blood sugar is also probably low. You don’t have to have a snack catered. Stop at the store. Buy some goodies. Fruit is excellent. Candies are inexpensive and give people something to suck on. Small cookies or nuts let people munch away.
  2. Ask for their input. If it’s a small group, ask each person what he or she wants from the session. People will tell you what topics will keep them listening. If you are not going to address many of the subjects and issues your audience brings up, then you are going to have an audience interest problem.
  3. Tell them when you’ll stop. Audiences do not usually like presenters who take more than their allotted time. Right up front tell your audience what time you will stop talking. Also remember to tell them when you will take questions: during the talk or only at the end of the talk.
  4. Use all modes: visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Your audience will be a mix of people so use all these modes of information processing in your talk.
    • Visual: Visual people like to see things. They want to see visuals such as diagrams, flow charts, timelines, and product photos. They need to see a picture either in their head or externally in order to really understand the information. Visual types also like to draw diagrams and write your words as you, talk. This keeps them engaged as they illustrate what you are saying.
    • Auditory: Auditory people like to hear. Your voice has to be strong and confident. Auditory people want information explained to them in an organized fashion. Some auditory people will repeat what you said. You begin to wonder if the person heard you. Remember, that person is repeating your comments in order to truly process the information. Don’t get offended.
    • Kinesthetic: Kinesthetic people like to be busy. They are usually writing as you talk. They have difficulty sitting quietly for an hour. Kinesthetic people like to ask you the questions that you are about to answer in the next ten minutes. They always seem to be ahead of the talk. That’s because they keep themselves engaged by thinking ahead.

As you consider these ways to motivate your listeners, remember that the most important behavior you can do is to truly be interested in them. Directly speak to their needs at the beginning of the talk, in the middle and lastly end discussing next steps they can do.

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