How to Engage your Audience
People do not want to merely hear knowledge uttered from a man or woman decorated with accolades. For that, there is Google. When they are willing to leave their homes, their families or their work for hours on end, it is because they seek to experience. There are books aplenty available for those hungry for knowledge, or skill. But there is a heart that is hungry to ‘know’ more, to ‘be’ more and to leave a space having touched a part of self that perhaps has lay dormant within.
Use not your words to impress. Use not your body to mesmerise the eyes of another with your beauty. But rather seek to leave the souls of those whom you encounter having touched their own beauty and their own wisdom within.
What is it to experience? We are but souls on this human road, with heart, mind and body. To recite words of wisdom, cleverly constructed and filled with astounding facts and figures is easy to do. But you will not touch the heart of another by such a busy utterance.
Rather, like a light within the sky, a sparkling star guiding sailors to their homes, let your words lead those who have ears to listen to the home of their own hearts. For within their hearts is a miracle waiting to happen, a blossoming of self that is beyond words, beyond sight and beyond the cleverness of your tongue.
A conductor waves his little stick in the air for music makers to bring to life a note that soars across open space of an auditorium and is invited in by its listeners, not to ‘make sense’ of, but to move, gently or furiously the heart, the emotion, the inner world of a man or woman, so that when the lights are dimmed and the curtains drawn, they leave, different from whence they arrived.
They are more. Their hearts are full and like sweet honey dripping onto the tongue, let your very presence have caressed their senses and lifted them into the stars to wander and explore for themselves.
Lead them to touch the depths of their own heart, their own passion, their joy, or even perhaps their sorrow. They may have wept, or laughed, felt the rushing stream of excitement at the awakening of a new understanding, because their hearts, minds and bodies have burst into streaming colour and have tasted the juiciness of a new dimension that you have simply guided them to.
Leave them dreaming of more, aching for their own fullness and delighting in having found, touched, tasted who they are in a new way.
Do not think for a moment, ‘how will "I" do this, how is this even possible?’ For have you not at times, felt your own heart, your own mind and body awakening and beaming in all its glory? It is YOU who will have orchestrated that, for you. So you can.
It is a matter of trust.
When you lead from your heart, with this in mind, fuelled by the delicious mastery of the colourful words on your palette, you too are simply led by your own magnificence, wisdom and brilliance – and in THAT, in the sharing of one’s own self first, we unconsciously give others permission to meet us there, and together, we are all lifted beyond the world of sight, sound and touch, into the infinite space of endless possibilities, where heart meets knowledge, and wisdom becomes us.
We all seek to experience our own greatness. So be the leader of such an epic adventure. And do so with humility, trust and awe of the beings that you encounter along your path.
So that's at the heart of it all! Now from a practical perspective, how does one go about doing this?
Here are 3 tips on how to evoke this level of engagement in your audience:
1. Speak TO the audience, not AT them. No-one likes being spoken down to or hearing a 'recited' script. When speaking, actually 'speak' to your audience as you would a friend. No, not the wild, rebellious friend - the one where there is absolute respect and genuine care. ;)
2. Vary your voice. By engaging your voice to match the tone, essence and intention of your message, you'll communicate with congruency and your audience is more likely to want to listen to you.
3. Move with Intention. There's nothing worse for me, than watching a Presenter moving back and forth constantly as if they need the loo. It's the nervous energy in our bodies that needs to be released somehow. However, it can be distracting for the audience. Find a spot, plant yourself and use that vital energy through your voice and gestures. Then when you move, let their be a reason for your movement - e.g. to make a point, or to tell a story. But move, then stand still again and continue.
Presenting isn't only about skill, or voice or one element. It's a beautiful tapestry that's woven together by colourful elements that together, create your masterpiece.