Six Needs of Audience Engagement

audience engagement




6.  Variety:

Do the unexpected. We change our clothes, eat different foods, and watch different television shows, all in the pursuit of variety. We strive to avoid monotony, recognizing just how punishing it can be. Yet, we reduce much of our speech communication to buzz words and bullet points. 

Far too often speakers forget to infuse their speeches with a human element—what Tony Robbins notes in his six fundamental needs.

To address this and ensure a connection, there’s a certain amount of vulnerability or emotion that is required. Emotion is one of the greatest tools a public speaker can use to captivate his or her audience. In fact, it could be argued that without emotion your message will likely fail.

Consequently, next time you’re up on a podium, consider the power of emotional appeal: People won’t recall the precise words you deliver, or the exact way you present your ideas, but they will remember how you made make them feel. 

How do you do meet your audience’s needs and accomplish this vulnerability in a professional setting?

Give your audience some part of yourself that is authentic and real. Peel away your mask, especially if you want to make your mark in the corporate world where everyone is expected to wear a facade of some kind. And then show them who is behind the veil.

Offer your audience authentic emotion and vulnerability. 

The most successful communicators in the corporate world are those who can remove their masks. They show who they really are and relate to their audience by revealing their humanity.

One way of doing this is to share your failures.

Revealing vulnerabilities is an effective way to strip away your mask and help people understand that you’re just like them. You’ve had challenges. You’ve tried things. You’ve failed. 

In other words, it’s not always a straight line to the top.

On a climb in the Andes, my team and I were on our ninth day of climbing. Less than four hours from the summit I fell through a crevasse. While everyone on the team was safe, this eliminated our opportunity to reach the summit, and caused us to adjust our methods to continue climbing safely.

Not unlike careers, we sometimes fail to reach the goal despite our best efforts. We are vulnerable to events we can’t always control.

It’s the great leaders of the world that can show some vulnerability and say, “It hasn’t always been easy.” Don’t be afraid to remove your corporate mask. If you can help an audience member see you as just another regular person who’s faced challenges, overcame them, and found success, then you increase the chances to make a personal and lasting connection. 

As you seek to address these six needs through increased vulnerability on your part, you’ll find greater success in accomplishing the goals set for your presentation. 

Related articles:

5 Ways to Give a Great Speech

Keys to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

The Seven Second Impact: Communicate with Power and Impact 


About the author

Chuck Garcia

Chuck is an author, executive coach, keynote speaker, and CEO of Climb Leadership International. He coaches executives on public speaking and leadership communication. A 25-year veteran of Wall Street, he spent several of those in leadership positions at Bloomberg, BlackRock, and Citadel. He is also adjunct associate professor at Columbia University where he teaches leadership communication in The Fu Foundation Graduate School of Engineering and Applied Science. He leverages his business leadership experience, as well as his hobby of mountain climbing, to provide an effective teaching narrative for professionals applying his tools and techniques. In his book A Climb to the Top, an Amazon best seller, draws on years of coaching and consulting experience to explain how you can become a powerful and persuasive communicator. Chuck is a graduate of Syracuse University and has a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership.