Keys to Captivating an Audience

The webinar, “Keys to CAPTIVATING an Audience:  Engaging Head & Heart…Spirit & Soul,” led by Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc ™, focused on three basic questions:

1.  Are you courageously developing and purposefully and passionately bringing your unique energy, experience, and expertise?
2.  Are you truly “being heard or are you just making noise”?
3.  Are you developing diverse, mutually productive and innovative partnerships?

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 And one way of delivering your unique sense of power and passion is through communication. The program distinguished between being Compelling or Power-directed:

> very interesting: able to capture and hold your attention
> capable of causing someone to believe or agree
> strong and forceful: causing you to feel that you must do something
Push…Force…Focus…Head…Insight…Purpose…Power and

Captivating or Passion-directed:

> capturing interest as if by a spell
> to influence and dominate by some special charm, art, or trait
> having an irresistible appeal or allure



Examples are provided illustrating compelling and captivating substance and style. The Doc also introduced some “Compelling, Captivating & Connecting Communication Tools”:

The New KISS:  Keep It Short (Simple) & Smart – from slogans to stories
The Memorable MISS:  Make It Sassy (or Subtle) & Surprising
Less Is More (More or Less)
Stand Out…Don’t Just Be Outstanding
Be Outrageous…Not Just “Out of the Box”
Word Artistry Triple “A”: Acronyms, Aphorisms & Analogies
“R & R”…and “R”:  Rhythm & Rhyme…And Reversal; Relevance & Research

Again, illustrations are provided.

Next is “The Five “A”s for Arousing, Connecting & Energizing (ACE) Communication”:

Attention: “Stop, Look…Listen”
Anticipation: Be edgy…What’s next???
Animation: Spirit; breathe life; bring juice
Activation: Generate ideas, tools, problem-solving/team-building exercises
Actualization: Promote Triple “A” and ongoing creative-collaborative journey

The webinar also talks about the importance of “letting go” of stressful or toxic situations/people in order to bring your best energy. This is underscored by “The Vital Lesson of the Four ‘R’”:  If no matter what you do or how hard you try…Results, Rewards, Recognition & Relief are not forthcoming, and you can’t say, “No,” or won’t “let go”…because you’ve invested so much Time, Identity, Money, Energy, Ego in one right person, one right position, one right acceptable outcome…trouble awaits. The groundwork is being laid for apathy, callousness, and despair!

Mark also examined the process behind Captivating Communication and Performance Leadership, what he calls, IM(4) Performance/Leadership:

Imaginative Mind: preparation linking new and surprising ideas, relationships, and models
Informative Message: the KISS interplay of data & concept, skill & interaction-application – tips, tool & techniques
Inspiring Messenger: a purposeful-passionate and risk-taking individual bringing his or her full self to the arena with compelling ideas and captivating stories
Interactive Medium: a sharing-learning-bonding lab and participatory-performance platform inviting synergy; strive to be an orchestra leader, helping individuals and team bring out their best individual and collective music

You want to help your audience “Get FIT”:  make your presentations FUN-Interactive-Thought-provoking!

A key aspect of being captivating is not simply being dynamic but also knowing how to utilize Active Listening & Questioning Skills:

C = Clarify & (Be) Concise  (The New KISS)
P = Paraphrase & Pause
R = Reaction & Response, Reflect & Reveal
S = Strategize & Summarize

And finally, Inspiring & Interactive Leadership:  Structures for Team Resilience & Collaboration are itemized:

Supervisor Wears Two Hats
Rotate Facilitators
Wavelength Segment:  Hi Task & Hi Touch
Morning “Quickie” & Informal Lunches
Cookout at Chief’s House:  IRAs & Career Planning
Plant Manager’s Monthly Meeting
The Radical Leap and Raisinets
Pilot Projects
Cross Branch/Division Pizza Parties: “D & I”
Managing Stress Carriers and Outside Consultant

The Q & A entertains some thought-provoking questions, for example, how to manage difficult or challenging individuals as well as the challenge of appropriately using healing not hostile humor. The difficulty of employing humor was brought out in an exchange with an attendee.

The Doc closed the program with an “inspiring” poem, pasted below:

Cowardice or Choice:  From Vice to Voice

A coward dies a thousand deaths; a hero dies but once **
No matter the total breaths; when it mattered…did you give your every ounce?
The saddest part of cowardice, the sacrifice of peaceful sleep
To cold night sweats of moral vice; a haunted voice that makes you weep.
Still…that twilight coliseum, a dreamscape of battling foes
A second chance for wrestling demons; will you now go blow for blow?

You may not win each contest; there will be trails of blood
But you may slowly lay to rest that nightmare-stalking brood.
Each hour brings another choice – to take a stand or run
Even lacking true clear voice, in no way are you dumb.
Dig deep for that rich ore of shame; you are near with fear or rage
Let a guide reveal a novel game; get off the “b.s.” (be safe) stage.

Lurking in shadows psychic, bubbling lava primal pain…
Sculpt and dance until there’s magic; Pygmalion’s art shall rise again.
No longer that once robot child, head twisting madly side-to-side
Yes, pursue the “Call of the Wild”; beware that, “Well, I tried.”
“Learn to Fail or Fail to Learn”; please forsake the craft of cool
Fiery spirit will once more burn when com/passion and purpose rule!

[** Shakespeare's Julius Caesar]

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