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How to Proactively Read and Engage Your Audience to Achieve Your Business Objectives

In recent years, the corporate landscape and the way we all do business has changed in nearly every industry. While employers continue to embrace virtual workplaces, web conferences and focus more on email etiquette, we cannot minimize the importance of live meetings. The biggest deals are always handled face-to-face and we must be appropriately armed to seize these opportunities. To succeed in this critical environment you must be able to seize your audience, project competence, and instill confidence that people want to do business with you.

Recently, several members of the Symmetrical Team attended Carpei Audientiam: Executive Level Presence training. The course was hosted by Dan Brooks of The Brooks Group which provides management consulting, market research, and training to various industries.

Carpei Audientiam is specifically designed for anyone who must engage an audience (whether internal or external), deliver a strong value proposition and gain buy-in. However, unlike traditional presentation skills training, Carpei Audientiam concentrates more on reading and leveraging the audience as opposed to just having the best slides.
Here are our key takeaways from the training.

1. You’re the Show
Rather than relying on flashy slides cluttered with too much information – keep it simple. The audience is there to see you – not your slides.

2. Get a Power Introduction
What is better than listing your extensive educational accolades and your impressive professional qualifications? Having someone with clout do it for you. To make it easy for them give them a bulleted list of your career highlights that are most relevant to the situation in advance.

3. Read the Eyes
From the moment you are introduced you should be reading the eyes of your audience. The goal is to identify who supports you and who is against what you are saying. Carpei Audientiam classifies audience members as Supporters, Ho Humers, Fence Sitters, and Mortal Enemies. Which brings us to our next point…

4. Do not engage your enemy, you will never win!
Tragically, most of us on the platform see our objectives derailed when we attempt to engage the Mortal Enemy in an effort to win them over. You will never win the Mortal Enemy over! Stop wasting your precious time on this futile quest.

During Carpei Audientiam, we learned a proven methodology for mitigating the Mortal Enemy, and keeping on track with the presentation.

5. Have Your Executive Summary Ready to Go
Business leaders and decision makers are inherently busy so be prepared to deliver your value proposition at any time. There is always the chance a key audience member will need to leave in the midst of your presentation and you can’t let them leave without hearing your strongest points, so have them ready.

6. Have a Powerful Close
At the end of your presentation, list out clear next steps and action items. If a flip chart is in the room, consider walking over and scripting out next steps for everyone to see (Who? Will do what? By when?) Take a photo with your phone of the agreed-to steps, and immediately email them out to the team to keep everyone accountable.

Ultimately the real value of the course comes from being able to practice these tactics with your peers with the guidance and feedback from Dan and his team. Visit The Brooks Group online for more information on the Carpei Audientiam Executive Level Presence training.

Join the conversation on our social pages (LinkedIn and Facebook) to let us know your tips for
reading and engaging your audience.