It has been years since I sat in a lecture hall and listened to a professor give a lecture. Of all the profs and all the lectures only one professor stands out in my memory. Why? Because he was engaging. I didn’t have to struggle to stay focused, we were all dialed in to what he was saying from the beginning to the end of the lecture.

As he spoke, he would wander up and down the aisles. At times he would stop in front of a student and simply ask how you were doing and what was your name. He made a point of memorizing every student’s name in the class.

In doing so he made us feel significant, in a very big place where most of us felt anything but. His presence, his energy, his passion, came across in every lecture. And we were inspired by it.

Here are a few of our tips on how to keep learners engaged.

Define your intention at the outset

Be clear on want you want to accomplish and what you hope to deliver to your audience. You don’t have much time to establish a report and gain their interest and attention. The first few minutes of your delivery are critical and will determine your level of success.

Be relevant

It is essential to provide information that is relevant and timely. Your information must resonate with the group. Know your audience and find out what it takes to captivate them. Ultimately, the information needs to be of value and useful to them in their daily lives.

Focus on real life experiences

In your effort to make the content relevant use where possible real life experiences. Including your own. People identify with stories that are true and personal.

His presence, his energy, his passion, came across in every lecture. And we were inspired by it.

Stay connected with your audience

At any given time, you want to know how you are doing. Are you reaching your audience? Are they paying attention? Give feedback and ask for feedback. Let your audience be part of the direction in which you take your narrative. In this way, be flexible if you discover things are going in a very different direction than perhaps you originally intended.

It has become much more difficult to keep any audience engaged. Distractions are everywhere. Mobile technology is your nemesis vying for the attention of your people. Still, there are those who speak with passion, who deliver a clear message and who can inspire their audience. They are the teachers that will always be remembered.

Until next time!