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Episode 017

June 26, 2019

017 – Master the room! How to create engagement with your audience – with Derek Bruce

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    In this episode, I talk to Derek Bruce. He is a Leadership Development Director, and has worked in HR, Learning & Development and is also an expert keynote speaker and event moderator and host.

    Derek and I speak about the importance of engaging the audience – whether it is in a workshop, meeting or at a conference. When our audience feels engaged, they will listen to us and interact, they will feel enabled to act upon the content we try to bring across.  

    Besides engaging the audience, Derek and I touch on a million other topics: the skillset of managers to survive the “future of work”, the impact of preparation on our mindset and the workshop atmosphere, and: why you may want to ask your audience to take a selfie. 

    Don’t miss the part when Derek shares his lessons learned from facilitating a workshop where half the participants were physically present and the other half joined via video call. Tune in to learn how to assure that the virtual participants are as engaged as if they sat in the same room…. 

    Derek’s abundant expertise as a corporate facilitator and keynote speaker will inspire you to design and facilitate workshops that work.

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    Feeling inspired by the conversation in this episode? We can have our own – take a seat at my virtual table as part of a Mastermind Group.

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    Questions and Answers

    1:32 If you were a hashtag, what would it be?

    1:53 What is your story? Where does your energy and your skill to engage the audience come from? 

    2:56 What have you learned from your roles in HR and Learning & Development about facilitation? 

    4:34 Where do you see the challenges and benefits of being a corporate versus an external facilitator?

    8:02 What is your experience in collaborating with an external facilitator?

    8:52 How do you measure success?

    10:32 What does it take to engage an audience? 

    12:54 To what extent does seating matter and how do you set up the room?

    14:06 Do you use different approaches to engage the audience depending on whether it is a meeting, workshop or conference? 

    19:50 When you say that engagement starts within the first minute and you often use humour. What have you learned from improv or stand-up comedy about engagement? 

    22:59 Stand-up is scripted whereas improv is not. Would you script your first joke when coming on stage?

    24:41 So, does “humour” boil down to “authenticity”? 

    25:35 What makes for you a good facilitator? 

    28:26 Do facilitators of e.g. Design Sprints need different skills than facilitators who teach groups?  

    31:18 How did you connect the virtual and physical participants in the beginning? What were the exercises? 

    33:41 For anyone who hasn’t facilitated a partly virtual workshop – what would you advise? 

    35:40 What is your opinion on the statement that in the future of work, every manager must develop facilitation skills?

    38:22 What’s the difference between soft and emotional skills?

    40:40 Are these emotional skills then also the ingredients you need to engage the audience? 

    47:59 What’s your silver bullet exercise?


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