A common practice public speakers apply is to create presentations that are chock full of information. They fill nearly every second of their allotted time with content, leaving a sparse amount of time for audience Q&A. As we’ve shared recently in our Bay City Connections meetings, sometimes less is more. In other words, as speakers we should talk less and listen more to our audiences. Let’s explore why this matters.

We’ve learned through our Bay City Connections campaigns that consumers tend to respond more to material that is meaningful to them. While we conduct ample research to identify what messages might resonate with customers, each individual’s needs are different. The only way to target what matters to a person is to engage them in a conversation.

In a public speaking event with a larger audience, speakers might have to be creative to get people to participate. During some of our Bay City Connections brainstorming sessions, we’ve identified opportunities to elicit audience responses. For example, a longer Q&A period can encourage more people to ask questions and become comfortable. If we wanted to get people in the right frame of mind, we might use an exercise such as a quiz or questionnaire. When an audience is engaged, they’re more likely to act.

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