Monday, November 29, 2010

Public Speaking - Audience Involvement Tricks

I won! I won!

Another fun way to get the audience involved physically is to give out prizes.
My favorite way to do this is to tape my business card underneath several
randomly selected seats before anyone is in the room. Sometime during the
program I will tell the audience that I have some gifts for them and they are
hidden in the room somewhere. I also tell them they should not bother looking
for them because they are sitting on them right now. Then I direct the audience
to feel under their seats for the business card.

When the winners find the business cards they get to come up on stage to
redeem their prizes, but there is usually a catch. I make up some funny questions
to ask them. They get the prize no matter how they answer.

If you are pressed for time, you can hand the prizes to people in the first row
and have them hand them one-by-one back to the winners. This gets many
people involved physically because they have to handle the prize. (It's not a bad
sales technique either. You might use your product for the prize if you want the
other audience members to touch it and want one too.)

May I Help You?

Many audience members would love to get a piece of the limelight by helping
the presenter. Take advantage of this fact by giving out jobs. You could have an
audience member writing on the flipchart for you. You could have another one
handling cue cards or timing the presentation. This is also a good method to
handle audience members who you fear might be boisterous enough to be
disruptive. If you give them something to do, you will have better control over
them and you will be able to give them the attention that they want.
Try to make sure potentially troublesome audience members are seated close
to you so you have some measure of control. If they are seated in the back, any
noise they make will cause the rest of the audience to look away from you.

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