Quick! What was the key message of the last motivational speaker you saw at an event? Chances are, if you can remember anything at all about what he or she said, that message was something like:
- “I'm rich, famous, or influential,” or...
- “I overcame a huge obstacle,” or...
- “I did something else remarkable.”
Messages like those may have worked in the past, but these days, effective speakers need to deliver a “you” message as well as an “I” message. That means they need to involve and engage their audiences on a personal, relatable level.
So how do you create engagement? Motivational speaker Marvelless Mark, who's been creating highly engaging business presentations for many years now, knows firsthand what works and what doesn't. Here are his suggestions:
1. Listen to your audience first and do it way before your event. Solicit input from employees, the sales force, or past attendees about what's important to them. What's on their minds? What are their biggest business concerns? Where do they need help? Then go looking for a speaker who can address those concerns.
2. Don't be starstruck. “Name” speakers may bring star power to your agenda, but they're not likely to give your attendees news they can use. Plus, top-tier speakers command top-tier fees, often $100,000 or more. Put that money to use elsewhere. For instance, in most cases you could buy every attendee a copy of your speaker's book or DVD and still come out ahead.
3. Let technology be your friend. There are so many ways technology lets you keep your audience actively engaged. Audience polling systems have gotten very inexpensive and are simple to implement. Twitter feeds let the audience express their thoughts in real time. Apps that actively involve the audience with the speaker are readily available and surprisingly inexpensive to create. Most everyone in your audience will own a smartphone, so take advantage of that.
4. Find a speaker who really wants to customize his or her presentation for you. That means incorporating your products, your company's needs, and even your attendees into the speaker's program. Customization may add some prep time on the front end for your speaker, but it will pay enormous dividends later. Nobody wants to get a canned stump speech. But people will appreciate something that's been created just for them.
5. Build “energy moments” into your sessions. Every 15 to 30 minutes, find some reason to get the audience up and moving. Have a door prize drawing. Throw out T-shirts. Have people look under their seats for a winning number. Start playing a popular song and hold an impromptu dance contest. When they take their seats again, your audience will be energized and ready to give you their full attention.
Finding creative ways to keep your audience involved is the easiest and best way to guarantee a successful event. For more ideas on how to engage, entertain, and excite your audience, go to marvellessmark.com.