The mystic formula of audience engagement
It has become quite popular in presentations, websites, even in business offers to talk about how a service, app or product engages the users. This nice word ‘engage’ has been fully depleted of its meaningful content by frequent overuse in attempts to fill in wording spaces, or impress with modern urbanisms.
Engaging is popular. In a world of countless startups, and numerous product and service providers, ‘engaging’ is considered a must in the communication language with potential customers endeavoring to convince them to buy. It translates into a mystic formula of captivating features that would allure customers and employees into an eternal fan club.
Similar to beauty, engaging is in the eye of the beholder. It requires taking the time to find and address the very essence of what is there for the users. What is often missed in presentations and other forms of communication is that the engagement of users is actually pretty simple - it’s about them, not us.
It’s about their thoughts, their quests, their botherings. So, to convert this into a ‘presentation’ language it means to prepare for a dialogue. Wisdom says it is better to listen more and to speak less. This means both (1) doing a good homework in researching the audience, and (2) initiating a ‘presentogue’ – presentational dialogue – with targeted address, questions, response mediation, etc.
In addition to the dialogue, to achieve an engagement requires to address concerns and generate curiosities that would mature into a genuine interest. It is not enough to maintain a dialogue without hitting the core values, the very topics that make a difference to these users.
And the third step to creating a real engagement is telling good stories. People remember stories because of the emotional charging. Tell me a story and I will remember because it captures my attention and spontaneously resonates with me.
Presentogue, interest creation and stories are the ingredients of the simple recipe for cooking a delicious and engaging communication bond. Once cooked, it should be kept warm – neither allowed to cool, nor to become too hot.
Creating real engagement is as if you are directing a movie – to capture the audience you need to get to the perfection of the detail; to make it contemporary vibrant; to allow yourself to be disruptive; and to keep being vigorously personal.