So what is the secret to truly engaging your audience in a talk or presentation?
Well, that’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s video.
Everybody these days is talking about engagement.
When event organizers and professionals are looking for speakers, they often times say, “I want somebody to engage the audience.”
What does that even mean?
I can tell what it doesn’t mean, is not throwing around balls or boxes, or getting everybody to stand up and do jumping jacks.
That’s not engaging your audience.
Engaging means your audience feels like they are a part of the experience, and so how do we do that?
Well, I have found there’s three essential keys, because probably the number one reason that I’ve been able to establish a career as a professional speaker is this idea of engagement, so here’s the three keys or secrets.
1. The Columbus Principle
I’ve talked about the Columbus Principle, but here it is in a nutshell.
The idea of the Columbus Principle is this, that whenever you’re teaching or presenting an idea, is it possible for you to ask questions in a way that the audience discovers the truth without you having to tell them what you were trying to tell them.
So often with audiences we just tell them.
So instead of just telling them, can we ask them, and because we ask them, they have to think about it.
They got to reflect. They got to look at the mirror, right?
So that is the Columbus Principle. At least that’s what I call it.
2. The Law of Three
What is the Law of Three?
It basically means this, that when we do ask questions and use the Columbus Principle, that we don’t get to the core, to the meat of the answer until we ask, at least generally speaking, three questions.
Notice this the next time you’re listening to somebody present and they’re trying to engage the audience by asking questions.
Do they follow up every response to a question with another question?
In other words, does the conversation go deeper and deeper?
Because if it doesn’t, well then, that means they might not understand the power of the Law of Three.
3. Yes And
Now, once we understand the Columbus and Law of Three, they come all together with number three, which is, Yes And.
Yep, I’ve talked about that in other videos, but what is Yes And?
Well, we hear it in the improv world, which is essentially agreeing and adding to what was just said, but in the world of speaking and communication, Yes And is making everything work for you.
One of the questions I get a lot is, “Marcus, you walk up into the audience and you just talk to them. Aren’t you afraid that that is a risk, that when you engage the audience like that, that it could blow up in your face?”
Well, if we understand the principles of Yes And, regardless of what somebody says, 99% of the time we can make it work for us. We can make it work for the presentation.
We can still make that person a star in the moment.
That’s the beauty behind Yes And, and if you understand these three things … Again, the Columbus Principle, allow them to discover it, use the Law of Three to go deeper, and then understand Yes And to make everything they say work so that we continue to advance along this magical trail of learning and experience.
That, my friends, is the essence of engagement.
Now let’s go get to work.