PSU Insight

Preparation is the Key

PPQ — Audience Involvement

Of course, you should always strive to engage your audience. But depending on your style of presenting and the type of presentation that you're doing, you may want to get your audience personally involved in your program —

  • Is there anyone who will be in the audience and who is especially well-known and well-liked, who would enjoy it if I made humorous references to them – in the appropriate situation, of course? Please list their names and titles or positions, and tell me why they would make a welcome addition to my presentation.

  • Is there anyone in the audience who would make a particularly good participant in my on-stage activities? Is there anyone who I should avoid calling on?

Speakers have long known that getting one or more of your audience members involved in your speech is a terrific way to build rapport with the audience in general. (This can either be direct involvement, or by your referring to them.)

But using audience members without prior planning can be an unpleasant surprise — both for them and for you. The best way to avoid such unpleasant surprises is to determine your likely candidates ahead of time.