Interacting with the participants is essential to make your communication essential – no matter whether the communication take places in the training, facilitation or presentation setting. In short, interaction is important since:
Confidence gaining – One way to alleviate your nerviousness is to interact with the participants in the beginning. Most presenters become nervous before the event starts because he / she ‘thinks’ too much about the participants. Questions coming to mind include ‘ Will they ask difficult questions?’, ‘Will they be bored?’, ‘Will they not pay attention to my delivery?’, etc. Interacting with them, experiencing them as human being, feeling that they are OK people helps a great deal to gain confidence!!
WIIFM clarifying – ‘What Is It for Me?’. Preparation before the event is the major way to answer WIIFM for you. Yet, there is always something unexpected when the event really takes place e.g. participants turning out not to be what was described by the organiser. Therefore, on-site interaction like asking question will gather information e.g. participants’ area of interest for you. Equally importantly, it shows to the participants that you care what is important to them!!
Attention retaining – One of the major challenges to you is that adult has only limited attention span – around 20 minutes as indicated by some study. It is not new to you (and me!!) to witness someone playing his / her mobile phone, blackberry, etc under the table!! Keep them involved in action is the best way to keep them ‘awake’!!
I shall spend quite a number of more entries to discuss about interaction.