Five Minutes to Engage Your Audience? Follow These Seven Steps

 

An audience of one is still an audience.  So, let’s say you have been given five minutes to engage someone in a phone conversation – how can you maximize this opportunity?

 

1. BE PREPARED

In the same way that you would plan a meeting or workshop presentation, you should plan the structure of even short interactions such as these phone conversations if you want them to be most effective. What are you aiming to achieve at the end of the call?

2. BE SOCIAL

Effective interactions don’t go straight to demands such as, “We’ve only got five minutes so what I need is XYZ”. You need to build rapport, empathy, and engagement.

3. BE CLEAR

As well as being social you need to be clear. You need to explain why their view, involvement, or conversation is important to you.

4. CONVERSE, DON’T MONOPOLISE

You have initiated the call; you have five minutes to engage and do all the talking. However, it should be a conversation not a monologue.

Even in five minutes you can lose the interest and engagement of the person at the other end of the call.

Check their interest, ask them their views, and collect the information that you might need for a follow-up conversation.  Learn about and understand their world – don’t just share yours.

5. KNOW WHAT IS POSSIBLE – IS YOUR ASK REALISTIC?

How well do you know your audience? Will they be willing to help or even capable of answering your questions, or delivering what you are asking for?

Be realistic – set an achievable goal. You might want to know four things. In a five minute call you will probably find out one. Create a relationship where you could talk about a process to address your other requests.

6. KEEP TO TIME

Most people will be too polite to say “You asked for five minutes and we are now at 15.” They will just not agree to another ‘five-minute call’.

7. THINK BEYOND FIVE MINUTES

You should plan and assume that your five-minute call is a stepping stone towards building a relationship, or the start of an exciting and new collaboration. It’s tempting to tell them everything you know in the five-minute call. Please don’t!

Be a generous listener – remember that less speaking can be more effective!

 

If you would like to know more about how OpenMeet can help you achieve more effective interactions, and stronger audience engagement, contact us today.

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