(Video) How to hold the attention of work-at-home employeesFebruary 26, 2021
How to engage an audience
Take a moment, and think back on when you were a kid in school. Chances are, this is how you were taught to present information:
Not too exciting, was it? And then, when you got to the business world, what they told you there wasn’t all that different..
Tell ‘em what you’re going to tell ‘em.
Tell ‘em again.
Tell ‘em what you told ‘em
Once again, not much of an attention-grabber. So, what’s the answer? How do you create a message that will engage your audience and generate a positive response?
Well, all it really takes – is a plotline. And here’s how it works:
- Main Character – Start with someone who symbolically represents your audience. In some cases, this main character might be the people you’re talking to – that invisible “you” often referred to in ads and training videos. The important thing is: Don’t make yourself or your organization the main character. This is about your customer, not you.
- Status Quo – Once you have your main character set, start your story by finding them smack in the middle of a difficult, trying day. This is the problem your product or service is going to help them with.
- Goal – Next, you define the end result they're aiming for. This isn’t just a hope, or a dream. It’s a visible way to identify what success will look like, and how everyone in the audience will know it’s been achieved.
- Opposing force – Now that you’ve set all that up, it’s time to create drama. Here’s where you bring in the obstacle, or obstacles, that inevitably get in the way of the main character achieving the goal.
- Lessons and tools -- With the conflict between the goal and the opposing force in place, it's now time for your main character -- and your audience -- to learn new lessons, and gain better tools, to ultimately overcome the obstacles blocking their path to success. In other words, it’s where you show how the products, services and opportunities you offer can help bring your audience out of their status quo and closer to the earlier-defined goal.
- Achievement – You then demonstrate that with that new knowledge and experience, your main character now has the ability to accomplish the desired goal.
- Higher meaning – As the final step, you show that your hero or heroine has not only succeeded in gaining the desired goal, but that achieving it has led them to improve their life or to learn something even more meaningful.
That’s really all there is to it. Six basic steps for creating a presentation and giving it a plotline that not only tells people something, but actually engages them in the story from beginning to end.
If you’d like to see the concept in action, just click on any example shown here.