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Daily Buzz: How to Reengage Audiences During Your Presentation

By / Sep 20, 2019 (TadejZupancic/E+/Getty Images Plus)

Writing an engaging speech is one thing; delivery is another. One speaker weighs in on how to keep listeners tuned in while you’re talking. Also: Nurture your online community to increase growth.

You’ve been rehearsing your presentation for weeks—making tweaks, talking to yourself in the mirror, the whole nine yards. Come the day of, you’re gearing to go. But your audience? Well, not so much.

“As a speaker, it’s dispiriting when you feel you’re trying to convey important information and your audience has obviously lost interest,” says professional speaker Dorie Clark on Harvard Business Review. “But your only chance at being heard is finding a way—somehow—to reengage them.”

Clark offers these strategies to reignite an unfocused audience:

Move to a different part of the stage. “You don’t want to overdo this maneuver, but used judiciously it keeps audience members guessing where you’ll go next, which means their eyes are trained on you,” she says.

Change your pace. Speaking too fast or too slow can cause audience members to check out fast. As with moving around, changing the rate of delivery from remark to remark will keep listeners on their toes.

Lower your voice or pause. “When I want an audience to focus on a key point, I’ll deliberately lower my voice to a near-whisper, so they need to focus intently in order to understand what’s going on,” Clark says. “I may even pause in silence for several beats, to the point where they’re itching to hear the conclusion.”

Facilitate Community Growth With Persistence

An online community won’t grow by itself, which means your association won’t grow, either. To facilitate growth, you have to nurture members, says Tirza Austin on Community by Association. And that often starts with engaging with them online.

“If a member posts and does not receive a great answer, they will not post again. Period,” she says. “Go the extra mile to make sure members don’t receive a reply in a thread, but valuable information. How do you do that? Be persistent.”

Other Links of Note

What makes an office cool in 2019? Inc. spoke with several design firms to identify the hottest office trends.

Fall is almost here. Use the upcoming season as inspiration for your nondues revenue strategy, suggests MemberClicks.

For nonprofits, finding an affordable office space can be a challenge. The Stanford Social Innovation Review offers tips on setting one up that works.

Sophia Conforti

Sophia Conforti is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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