Engaging your audience | Views by Georgia

Georgia Webb, our summer intern, will be writing this week’s article review for Freckles.

Last month, Marc Lemezma wrote an article on minutehack.com about how to grab, and keep people’s attention while giving a speech. He gives tips and tricks for those who regularly speak in front of large crowds or in a working environment.  

This article stuck me as interesting, and something that people needed to be made aware of.  As a sixth form student, I have been through my fair share of long and boring lectures/presentations. And in this article, Lemezma mentions the power of social media and technology and how it’s constantly prying to get your attention. And most of the time, the technology is chosen over listening to the lecturer. This came across as an excellent and very valid point, as it reigns true. Therefore, this constant distraction from the cyber universe is overpowering what really matters, the speaker giving the presentation.

Personally, I have never been distracted in class from the urge to constantly check my phone. But for some people, the desire to tweet, instagram and message one another is too strong. I’m talking about my experience as a teenager in the classroom or in a lecture hall, whereas Lemezma is speaking about adults, the people reading this post, who need to support their families and themselves. And this is one of the things that I find interesting about this article.

Another thing that struck me as interesting while reading this article, was the point Lemezma made about the use of PowerPoint. During time at school, PowerPoint is constantly used as a visual aid, or just to list the topics worth discussing so the teacher doesn’t forget. I thought people would outgrow this boring habit, but apparently not. In my opinion, a working environment should be professional. Therefore, using a PowerPoint to prompt and remind the speaker during a presentation just seems odd to me. Don’t get me wrong, PowerPoint is a very affective tool, and can be very beneficial when used in the right way. But no one seems to be using it in the right way.

Lemezma writes three simple words: Engage – Inform – Enact. This is to encourage people to leave their structured and prompting agenda behind, and become more engaged with their audience.

Lemezma expresses that introductions don’t need to be an explanation of your life story. Because the chances are everyone in that meeting is going to have done their research and knows everything about you. So, he gives an alternative; Rhetorical questions, statistics or some facts can engage and excite people in that meeting room a lot faster than you explaining your life story.

This article stood out to me as something that should be spread across the business world. I will leave the link to the article below for you to have a look at.