Imagine the evening news broadcast being interrupted by “breaking news” --- “Ladies and Gentlemen, we have to interrupt this broadcast to report a hostage situation at the Convention Center. It appears that the keynote speaker has so connected with, captivated, and engaged the audience that they’ve become hostage to his message!”

Wouldn’t you like to be that speaker??


How do you connect with, captivate, and engage an audience so that instead of them being onlookers, they get absorbed into the storyline, the drama of your message? In the March edition of Dilip’s Diamondswe learned how to connect with your audience before you open your mouth. In this edition, let’s look at how you keep them connected and go much further so that the audience members become co-creators of the message!

Mind Map


Mind Map on How to Captivate Your Audience

The above mind map illustrates what I mean when I say, “Speak to the whole person.” Follow along as you look at the mind map’s branches in a clockwise manner. Learn the many different ways you can connect with your audience: 

Speak to the Ear – The audience members don't see your speech script or speech notes, but they hear your words. Clearly enunciate your words, have good vocal quality, use the active voice instead of the passive voice, and use words that are pleasant (as opposed to jarring) to the ear.

Speak to the Eye – You know that eye contact is very important to connect with an audience. Look at the audience members with personal interest. Your eyes will display your confidence and members of your audience will feel compelled to follow your words because of the passion they see smoldering in your eyes, causing them to get engaged in the story of your speech.

Speak to the I – In this case, the I stands for imagination! Your audience members can think 6- 8 times faster than you can talk. While you are talking, their minds can wonder. That’s why you want to engage their imagination so that they can think in parallel with what you are saying. Very often, it is their imagination that gives them new insights from what you are saying. Such rich imagining often lead to eureka moments that reveal how they can apply what you are talking about. Voila! Then you will have audience members co-creating your message.

Speak to the Heart and the Tear Ducts – Engage the human condition by creating depth of feeling which leads to a sense of connection. Such deep feelings of connection will lead to insights that yield understanding and will plant those moments in long-term memory.

Speak to the Mind – Give a message of real value. Mental engagement with your message leads to interest and insight, causing the listeners to connect with the substance of your message.

Speak to the Funny Bone – When your listeners chuckle and laugh, their muscles relax and their minds open up, becoming more receptive to your message. This makes it easier for your listeners to accept your message because it is in moments of enjoyment that we learn the best (as Ralph Smedley, the founder of Toastmasters International often said). This leads to better engagement with your message.

Speak to the Muscles – The longer you speak, the more important this is. Get your listeners to use their muscles, whether it is by writing something, raising their arms, shaking hands, standing up, moving to a different part of the room, forming small groups or playing a game. Action – doing – adds a new dimension to connecting with your audience and may give insights to the listeners, and will almost always lead to greater engagement and interest in your message. This will make it easier for the participants to remember your message and they are more likely to have fun in the process.



That is a summary of “speaking to the whole person” – ear, eye, imagination, heart and tear ducts, mind, funny bone, and muscles. That’s how you create a hostage situation that keeps your hostages asking for more!



 To give you some resources for ideas for audience interaction, I did a search on the worldwide web and found the following blogs to recommend. Let me know if they are helpful to you:






Mind Mapping One-day Workshop coming in June!


"Dr.Dilip's Mind Mapping course is a quick trip to self-awareness. Mind Mapping is a surprisingly pleasant tool for using our most important resource in a totally new way. You can significantly increase your note taking, analysis, planning, and organizational skills."

-Chris Perks

Professional (Civil) Engineer 

Mind Mapping One-day Workshop


Register at: http://mindmappingddllc.eventbrite.com/


"I feel I have been shown a key to unlocking the flood of creativity I know is inside me. Dr. Dilip's enthusiasm and the interest he showed in his students makes the class more of an experience than a workshop."

-Fred Callbeck

System Professional

Grumman Systems Support Co. 

A New Book that taps the power of Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich

Everything I Know About Succwaa I Learned From Napoleon Hill


Don Green is Executive Director of the Napoleon Hill Foundation. All proceeds go to work in schools and prisons. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. Dr. Dilip will have a limited number of autographed books available at the District 38 Conference in Langhorne, Pennsylvania on May 17-18.


Quote to Think About

“Keep in mind there will always be a small percentage of the population that does not want to play with you. I call these folks “curmudgeons” because they typically sit in the back and convey through their body language, “I don’t want no stinking team activities!”
--Olivia Mitchell

Coming soon to Diamond Club members: Google + hang ups with Dr. Dilip

Join other Diamond Club members and Dr. Dilip to discuss your questions and build friendships with other Diamonds.


Dr. Dilip Abayasekara
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in Time


April 27 & 28:

Medium Church Consultation, New Cumberland, PA


April 29:

Speech Coaching,Summerdale, PA


May 2:

Large Church Consultation, Etters, PA


May 3:

Central Penn College Commencement,Harrisburg, PA


May 4-5:

Large Church Consultation, Etters, PA


May 6:

Speech Coaching,Summerdale, PA


May 11:

Presentation at Advanced Toastmasters Club,Summerdale, PA


May 14:

Speech Coaching 2X,Summerdale, PA


May 17:

D38 Toastmasters Conference, Langhorne, PA


May 18:

Keynote: Speaking from the Heart, District 38 Toastmasters Conference, Langhorne, PA


May 19:

Workshop with Sheryl Roush  Accredited Speaker Program – Langhorne, PA


May 20:

Speech Coaching,Summerdale, PA


May 26:

Worship Leader, CHUM,Camp Hill, PA



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