255 - 3 Signs You’re Successfully Engaging your Audience
As you move higher and higher up your organization, you may notice that it gets harder and harder to tell how well you’re doing when you’re delivering a presentation.
Everyone looks so stoic. Are they engaged with what you’re saying, or are they checked out? Are you relevant or off-the-mark?
Unless you have software to poll your audience, you’ll never know for sure.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t look for clues. So, what are the signs that you are successfully engaging your audience?
1) You don’t get interrupted
One of the signs you’re connecting with your audience is if you get through your entire presentation without any interjections. Depending on your company culture, interrupting in the middle of presentations — whether to ask for clarification, raise a concern, or ask a question —may be the norm.
But if nobody jumps in, you’re almost certainly doing a great job. One or two interruptions may be OK, but any more than that is a sign that something’s gone wrong.
2) Your audience is cohesive
Another sign you’re connecting with your audience is if they are in lockstep with each other. People don’t get up and leave. Nobody is on their phone. You’re getting great eye contact. Your audience seems to act as one organism, reacting in similar ways to various parts of your presentation.
If your audience is cohesive, it’s a good sign that you’ve successfully engaged them.
3) The questions are on-target
A third sign you’re connecting with your audience is if the questions you’re asked are highly relevant. If you find yourself having to clarify what you thought you had made crystal clear, or if you get asked questions that are hardly pertinent to the topic at hand, it’s a good sign that you haven’t connected with your audience.
If you don’t want to wait until the end of your presentation to see how you’re doing, consider asking for questions at key moments of your presentation. That will allow you to take the temperature of the room and adjust accordingly.
While it would be great if you could pause your presentation to poll your audience members on your performance, that almost certainly isn’t an option for you. But if you watch for these signs, you’ll know you’ve established a strong connection that will help you achieve the goals you have for your speaking.
Source: Business Journals