Category Archives: Amy Fenollosa

Audience Engagement: Setting Them Up to Listen

Audience Engagement: Setting Them Up to Listen

I was recently speaking with friends about how to capture attention in a professional environment. Among the group were a couple of doctors who teach in academic settings and a curriculum coach from an inner-city public school. When we discussed audience engagement, the consensus was:

If you want to get doctors to listen, give them pens; if you want to get teachers to listen, serve breakfast…”

We all teach professionals in dramatically different settings — whether in the hospital, at a school, or in a corporate office, we all strive to capture attention.

Regardless of the audience, you have to set people up to listen. A lot goes into building an efficient agenda and leading a productive meeting. One piece that is often neglected is how we set people up to listen. For your next meeting, think about creating a listening environment:

  1. What time of day are you meeting? If you’re battling against the early-morning rush hour or the late afternoon slump, think of pick-me-ups you can include. Caffeine, sweets, or fresh fruit. Little additions can make a big difference in people’s attention.
  2. What’s the goal of your meeting? Can you move the setting to be more conducive to your meeting? If you’re always at the same conference table, think of changing things up. Try a different floor, meeting in a collaborative space, or simply switching your usual seat. New environments lend themselves to creative ideas and different ways of thinking.
  3. Start people off in the right frame of mind. Maybe you need to send out a pre-read, start with a short video, or show a tangible example of your work. Think of ways you can draw the audience in and get them thinking about your issue right from the start. If they’re well-prepared or you pique their interest right away, you’re more likely to be successful.

Audience engagement requires more than preparing an amazing slide deck or putting together a thoughtful message plan. It’s not as simple as handing out goodies or serving breakfast, but if you’re proactive and help put your audience into the right mindset for listening, your meetings will be more efficient, more effective, and possibly even more fun!

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

How (and Why) to Define Your Organizational “Fingerprints”

How (and Why) to Define Your Organizational “Fingerprints”

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. What do people say about you after you leave the room? That’s the question we posed in a two-day personal branding workshop we taught recently. Everyone has a personal brand, whether they acknowledge it or not. At The Latimer Group we describe… Continue Reading

Listening with Patience and Humility

Listening with Patience and Humility

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. Have you seen the short celebrity interviews at the end of the New York Times Magazine on Sundays? Ana Marie Cox is wrapping up her tenure as the Talk columnist and she spoke about the essence of conducting a good interview: “You… Continue Reading

Reduce Speaking Stress with this Mark Twain Quote

Reduce Speaking Stress with this Mark Twain Quote

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. Have you ever been stressed as you prepare for a meeting, and wondered if you’d be able to remember the details? Worried about an important presentation and panicked about forgetting what you had to say? Often in our workshops, people are really… Continue Reading

Ten Years of iPhone, and One Call We’d Like to Make

Ten Years of iPhone, and One Call We’d Like to Make

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. With the much anticipated introduction of the newest iPhone last week, there’s been a lot of reflection on how our lives have changed in the 10 years since Apple introduced the first iPhone. I still recall the moment I realized how much… Continue Reading

Overflowing Inbox? Strategies to Manage Email

Overflowing Inbox? Strategies to Manage Email

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. It’s officially the end of summer; post-Labor Day, post-vacation re-entry for many of us. Have you taken time off this summer and returned to an overwhelming backlog of email? Did you find yourself checking your email remotely? Or were you able to… Continue Reading

Presentation Tips: “Everyone Hears Uniquely…”

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. Recently I was collaborating with a colleague to create an audio exercise for a workshop on storytelling. We selected outstanding clips of stories to share in class as examples to help people generate their own ideas and learn what makes a compelling… Continue Reading

Presentation Tips: Check Your Body Language

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group I’ve been presenting in front of large audiences for most of my career. I’m comfortable speaking on the stage, but other than a role in the 5th grade class play, I haven’t explored acting. Last month, I had the chance to… Continue Reading

How “Visual Literacy” Can Help You Communicate More Effectively

This post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group Have you ever had to make a pitch and it just flopped? Have you prepared really well for a presentation and it fell flat? How do we connect with our audiences and help them see things from a new perspective? Seeing… Continue Reading

Video: To Persuade, Be More Than a Messenger

Throughout our business lives, our communication is peppered with information, updates, and messages, many of which it’s up to us to deliver. But to truly persuade, we must build consensus around our plan or idea. And to do that, we must do more than give an update, or deliver a message. We must prepare our… Continue Reading

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