Engage, don’t just present
Posted by Richard Scudder
In the sales world I hear the word present a lot more often than the word engage. Sales people are always talking about quality presentations. If you go to the website of a large training organization my money is on you finding “effective presentation” somewhere in the course catalog. I don’t know about you, but I rarely need another presentation as I am presented with stuff everyday. The radio advertisements on my morning drive, the menu at lunch and the prime time TV commercials at night. During my business day it’s the latest proposal, the 25 emails in my inbox by 10 am, or the 1 hour conference call that only needed to last 20 minutes. However, if I am truly engaged by someone I would consider that the cornerstone of my day.
Do you think PowerPoint when you think visual presentation? As a presenter an audience is all you need for engagement, but throw in the slides and you immediately create the opportunity for distraction or disconnect between you and your audience. When you do use visuals in your presentation remember it is to serve the message, but it’s the message that must engage your audience.
When meeting face to face nothing is more effective than back and forth conversations with eye to eye contact. It is that personal contact that keeps both parties engaged. Don’t let that brochure, data, or samples disrupt the all important personal interaction. Once you’re gone that brochure you left behind with all the features and benefits will serve as a great reminder of the quality of your meeting.
To engage is to connect. At the end the day all the matters is if you and the content of your message connected with your audience.