Engaging Your Audience: A Crash Course

Decorative: "Engagement" spelled out in large blocks being arranged by five faceless humanoid figures


A. "Five Quotes That Teach You Everything You Need to Know about Engaging Your Audience" (post) outlines "a crash course" on five ways "to actively and constantly engage your audience." 

See also

  • Or, search "Engagement" on the Teach Commons site for posts with many specific engagement activities, strategies, etc.

B. The Quotations


  • "Even if the spotlight is on you as the teller, never forget that it's always about the audience."
  • "Tell stories that hook your audience’s attention, spark their imagination, align your emotion with theirs and induce action."

1. "To make our communications more effective, we need to shift our thinking from ‘What information do I need to convey?’ to ‘What questions do I want my audience to ask?’” ― Chip Heath, professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business

  • "You want to inspire the right questions in your audience."
  • "[R]evise your presentation so that you elicit the right ones, and a genuine conversation can emerge."

2. “Storytelling is fine as long as you can encourage people to act on the stories.” ― Karen Armstrong, religious historian

  • "What do you want people to do based on the story you present?"
  • "[S]tories should induce action."

3. “My experience of great storytelling, working with classics, is just finding a way to present it simply but let the story do its own work, or be an invite to the audience’s imagination.”― Kenneth Branagh, actor

  • "[I]f you tell a compelling story, you hook the audience’s interest and spark their imagination."

4. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou, poet and civil rights activist

  • "Keeping an audience engaged is not only about the moment when they listen to your presentation; it’s also about what they remember afterward ... whether they walk away feeling curious vs. bored, inspired vs. indifferent, confident vs. overwhelmed."
  • "By matching the plot to what you know about your audience, you can guide their emotions and actions.

5. "Speech belongs half to the speaker, half to the listener.” ― Michel de Montaigne, philosopher

  • "[P]ictur[e] speech like a tennis game. How are you preparing your audience to receive what you are serving?"
  • "Never forget your 'other half' when you give a presentation."
Printer Friendly, PDF & Email