Category Archives: #TipsThursday

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

These 5 Words Can Make You More Persuasive

These 5 Words Can Make You More Persuasive

At The Latimer Group, we believe that the ability to persuade, influence and build consensus is the most important skill that you can have in the workplace. If you attempt to add one skill to your tool box in the coming year, verbal persuasion should be at the top of your list. This begs the… Continue Reading

Getting Your Delivery from “Negative” to “Positive”

Getting Your Delivery from “Negative” to “Positive”

We talk all the time about message development — clarity of and organization of message make it easier for people to listen to you. And if you do all the right things on your message plan, and then translate it into a good slide deck, the final piece of the puzzle is your delivery. Once… Continue Reading

Weak Language When Presenting is Sort of a Problem

Weak Language When Presenting is Sort of a Problem

We deliberately used an example of that weak language in the title of this post, to illustrate what it can do to your message and your credibility when presenting. Weak phrases like “pretty much,” “sort of,” “kind of,” or “a little bit,” don’t actually add a lot to your message. Phrases like these make you… Continue Reading

Video: How to Practice Your Communication Skills

“Practice puts brains in your muscles.” ~Sam Snead Over the last few months, we’ve published a series of blog posts both here and at Forbes.com on Communication Leadership, and building a presentation, speech, or other communication. How we assess our audience, how we build our message, how we document, and how we deliver that message… Continue Reading

Video: Are You an Executive Level Communicator?

In our workshops at The Latimer Group, we don’t just assess whether your communication skills are “good” vs. “bad.” There are varying levels of good communication, and as we become more aware of our audience, and more honed in on our message, we progress from Professional Level Communication to Leadership Level to Executive Level. In… 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

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