• Connecting Speakers with Audiences™

audience engagement

Discover the Light Bulbs and Dim Spaces

Discover the Light Bulbs and Dim Spaces 2200 1529 I Need A Speaker

By Tricia Richards-Service

I was talking with Mandolen Mull, PhD last week, and we talked about audience members’ frequent reluctance to ask questions.

I told her that, during previous presentations, I’ve often handed out index cards and golf pencils. I would collect and shuffle the cards for anonymity’s sake before reading the questions aloud.

She said, “I do something similar! I had cards printed with a light bulb on one side and an image of a darkened room on the other side.” I asked participants what their a-ha moments were, and where they were left in the dark.

This kind of feedback makes great workshops or presentations better and better. Great idea!

 

Photo credit: Image by Pexels

When Audiences Want More, Deliver!

When Audiences Want More, Deliver! 662 445 I Need A Speaker

During a coffee meetup with a new connection, I heard a great compliment about one of the speakers on our directory.

My coffee companion told me how impactful the speaker’s presentation was. “I could have listened to her all day,” she mused. “And when her talk ended, I was craving more.”

I explained that, depending on their contract/agreement with the event planner, speakers may not be able to sell from the stage. That means they are not permitted to sell courses, books, merchandise, or other commercial items.

So what can speakers do to give eager participants more? First, it’s important to check with the event planner to ensure policies aren’t violated. Second, ask the planner what is acceptable. Here are some ideas:

  • Invite participants to contact you with follow-up questions.
  • Offer something free for participants that is relevant to your talk. It may be a link to a longer talk that you’ve posted online. It may be a downloadable journal. It may be a list of resources to learn more.
  • Use a handout with more information.
  • On your closing slide, tell participants where you will appear next.
  • Mingle with the audience before and after your presentation to give them the opportunity to ask questions.
  • If you have a podcast or YouTube channel, include that on your narrative bio and final slide.
  • Announce an informal meetup with you immediately after the event concludes.

It’s important to engage with participants and answer their questions, and it’s also important to respect the policies of the event where you’re speaking. Ask what your options are, and be creative!

 

Photo credit: Image by Canva

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