5 Ways to Energize an Audience


A tired audience is an impatient and distracted audience. To help ensure your presentation is actually heard, it’s important to energize the audience.

Here are 5 ways to energize the audience before your next presentation:

photo by jpsdg

photo by jpsdg

1. Warm up the crowd by conducting a symphony.

Conducting an audience symphony is one of the easiest ways to get an audience engaged and energized at the beginning of a presentation.  To do so, have separate sections of the audience say different syllables that, when combined, sound out the title of your presentation.

For complete instructions, check out Warm Up Your Audience by Conducting a Symphony.

2. Have everyone stand-up and do the thumbs exercise.

The thumbs exercise (demonstrated in the video below) can be a great way to warm-up the audience. It’s something unique that they have likely never done before and gets both the left and the right side of the brain warmed-up.

photo by gakiku

photo by gakiku

3. Throw on some music and encourage dancing.

Dancing can be a fun way to energize a room and get people moving.  At the start of the presentation, put on some music and just start dancing.  The courageous will join you, the others will at least be entertained by your mirthful movements.

Of course you could take dancing to the next level and dance to shorten meetings–it’ll certainly encourage shorter meetings and give you a chance to explore different types of music.

photo by bilywifta

photo by bilywifta

4. Get the audience to applaud 3 times.

One of the things I learned from a few stand-up veterans is the importance of the MC to bring the audience together, transforming them from strangers at a comedy show to a collective audience, laughing together.

One way to do that is to get the audience to applaud at least 3 times together.  The act of doing it all together helps them settle in as a group and get focused on what’s about to happen on stage.  This is way many comedians will start with statements like “You ready for a good show?”, “Give it up for your headliner,” and “Applaud if you like breathing.”

photo by thrasher

photo by thrasher

5. Do the Wave

The simple act of standing up can wake the body up.  Standing burns twice as many calories as sitting and raises your heart rate.  Doing it multiple times to create a wave in the audience not only increases the energy of the room, but also gets the audience to do something together.

Have a favorite energizer? Share it in the comments.

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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Paul July 25, 2014, 5:38 am

    Really, really useful. Thank you!

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