18
Jan

How to Successfully Engage Your Audience

Successful presentations require skill and hard work. Not everyone is a natural public speaker, but anyone can work at it. A good presentation is one that conquers your public. Here are several techniques that will help you engage your audience.

Know Your Audience

If you want to engage a crowd, the first rule is giving them something they need. No matter what subject you choose, somehow it has to add value to people’s life. The point is, you need to know who your audience is and what are their expectation.

Try to Create Their Profile

Before you meet your public, try to visualize it. No matter what kind of audience you will deal with, they surely all have something in common, at least the mere fact that they’ll gather to hear you. Think about their age, professional interest or personal preferences. Put it all on paper and complete a basic profile. Now that you know them better, it’s easier to picture yourself in front of them.

Write Down Your Speech

It Is Crucial to Have a Plan

Every professional out there does it: artists, politicians, top business people, they all write down their speech beforehand. A written plan helps you organize your thoughts in a logical order. It will be easier to remember what you are about to say.  This is a great preparation mean especially if you usually feel nervous in front of the crowd. It will also help you anticipate the public’s reactions.

If you need help in drafting your plan, search for inspiration online. There are many smart content tools that will help you choose a topic and make your speech appealing.

Make It Logical

As soon as you start writing your speech, remember the main stages of any presentation:

  • Introduction
  • Body
  • Conclusion

It might seem redundant to highlight this steps, but many times people tend to ignore the main parts of a discourse. So don’t jump directly to the point and don’t rush to draw conclusions. Make a smooth transition between the three parts.

Don’t Digress

Another golden rule you should never forget is no divagation. You can’t engage your audience if you lose them along the way. Digression will make people lose their interest. They fill simply find it too difficult to follow your stream of thoughts.

People’s attention span is somewhere around 10 minutes. The rest is just passive listening, so don’t make those 10 minutes shorter.

Bottom line: stick to your topic. Yes, a joke works well every now and then. But don’t deviate from your plan too much.

Be Organized throughout Your Presentation

There are several factors you have to focus during your speech.

  • One is sticking to the initial plan you had in mind. You will have to review it continuously in the background of your mind. Make a checklist for your presentation and mentally uncheck every stage you have completed. This way you’ll keep track of the remaining steps.
  • Another key factor of any successful presentation is focusing on your public’s attitude. Try to figure out what reactions your speech triggers. Don’t let them lose their interest. If you think they’re bored, have a short break, switch your tone or make a joke. Somehow, you have to get them back

Make It Interactive

Focus on Your Public

In order to fully engage your audience in your speech, you have to make it all about them. Many presenters focus strictly on the content they deliver and ignore the audience. Although the primary purpose of your presentation is sending out a message, you should also make sure it actually gets there.

Ask Them to Participate

If you are not talking about the elixir of life or other fabulous topics that might mesmerize the crowd, chances are, they’ll disconnect at a certain point. How can you make them reconnect? Ask them to actively participate.

  • Name volunteers: ask someone in the audience to step forward and take part in a live demonstration (this works particularly well when you promote a new product).
  • Ask questions: turn your speech into a dialogue. It’s not all about you speaking and them listening. Ask them to share their opinions. Have a large brainstorming session.
  • Play a game: this will definitely arouse their interest. Try to come up with a challenge. Ask your audience to find a solution, solve a mystery or play a short role game. Of course, this has to be integrated and correlated with the topic you’re discussing.

Pay Attention to Your Body

More than 50% of the messages we send out are actually conveyed by non-verbal means. Body language is essential in understanding a person’s attitude. Make sure your body doesn’t betray you during your speech.

Body Language

You don’t have to be an expert in interpreting body language to figure out some basic signs like nervousness, boredom or uncertainty. All these emotions are naturally passed on through elements like posture, gestures, and mimic.

Try to bond with the public through nonverbal language: stand upright, come in front, but not too close, make relevant gestures (they will show your commitment to the topic).

Eye Contact

This is one compulsory technique every effective presenter must know. If you don’t look your audience right in the eye, the message you communicate is that you are not involved. Eye contact connects you with the audience. However, make sure you share it with everyone. Looking only at some members of the public might seem improper or even odd.

One last thought before you get to work: add a personal touch to your presentation. People want to know the real you, not only the presenter. Slipping a personal detail or a short relevant experience will bring your audience closer and increase their interest.

18
Jan

7 Tips on Getting More Readers to Your Corporate Blog

If you want to increase the number of visitors to your blog, you should focus on the topics for the blog and should also use content syndication to increase the exposure for the blog on the Web. Your website format may not be designed to encourage visitors to click on the link for your blog. The content on the website should be organized, which will help a visitor to easily navigate to the next Web page. Keywords can be used to enhance SEO.

1 – Website Format

The information on a website should be organized in a simple layout, which will help a visitor to easily find a Web page on the menu. The link for the blog should be included twice on each Web page such as on the top or side menu and also on the footer. The word “blog” must be displayed on a main menu and should not be concealed in a drop-down menu. The link must be active and should be periodically checked to detect any problems.

2 – Website Content

The topics for the blog can be associated with the products or services of a company. Or they could even be chosen to provide information for the members of a local community, such as information about marathon races or about healthy lifestyles. The content for the articles is very important because a blog is a key component of an online marketing campaign. Managers can use a webinar or a corporate sales training course to learn special techniques for blogging.

3 – Blogs

You can include the URL for your blog on your email messages and can use email newsletters to advertise about your blog. The topics should be chosen to attract the members of a target audience such as homeowners or athletes. Customers may want to have information about the contaminants in water or about the different kinds of bread for a bread machine. You can include detailed information about your products or services such as medical treatments. An RSS feed in an important feature for a blog.

4 – Keywords

Your company and the products can be described with some very important keywords. Those keywords could be asphalt, concrete, bulldozers, patios and pavement. If your blog is for a special purpose, such as recipes for cakes, then the keywords could be chocolate cake, vanilla cake and cake icing. Customers will use those keywords in a browser when they are searching for information.

5 – SEO

The information on a website is categorized by the software for the search engines. The web crawlers can detect the text on a Web page such as your keywords. There are meta description tags that can be used as a summary for the content in an article. When a customer searches for a vehicle on the Web, that customer may use the word “truck,” “car,” “auto,” “sedan,” “SUV” or “ATV.” If that keyword has not been included on your website, then that customer will not find your website in the search engine results.

6 – Content Syndication

Content syndication is a simple method for increasing the exposure for an article on the Web by publishing an article on more than one website, which is similar to publishing the article on your corporate website and on your Facebook website. The method is used to attract customers with more than one Web page. The title for a blog article is a link and can include words for Local SEO such as the name of a city and a state, which could attract local customers.

7 – Navigation

the URLs for your blog articles are in the search engine results, customers can use those links to access your blog. The crucial factors for attracting customers are simple formats, keywords, Web page design and blog topics. The customers must be able to easily navigate through the Web pages on your website, which should have active links that will successfully redirect a customer to the appropriate Web page.

There are many areas of a corporate blog that can impact readership. By understanding both what your target audience is looking for and how to best address their needs, your organization can more effectively build a relevant audience. From there you can use heat mapping and workflow software tools to determine where to add calls to actions and how best to convert you engaged readers, which is almost always the end goal.