Invite the audience to speak first

Engage your listeners by having them speak first. Pose a question for them to answer before you launch into your remarks. You can even display it on the screen as they enter the room, to start them thinking and talking with the people around them.

Then invite the audience to share their thoughts, concerns or experiences by answering the question in front of the group. That immediately involves them in what you have to say, building their interest.

Throughout your presentation, refer back to their comments to show that you listened to them and that what you have to say is relevant to their situations.

— Adapted from “Have Them at ‘Hello’” Elizabeth Mortensen, Forbes, http://www.forbes.com.

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