Public Speaking Lab

The Six One Strategy: A Way to Maintain Your Audience Engaged

Ever found yourself stuck with a presentation that seems about as exciting as watching paint dry? I’m about to share with you a technique that can transform any presentation, no matter how dry or “boring” it may seem, into an engaging experience. Here’s what you have to do: 

The strategy is called the Six One Strategy, and trust me, it’s a game-changer!  The concept is brilliantly simple: after every six sentences, pose one question. It’s like sprinkling a dash of intrigue into your talk.

But, how does it work? 

You begin your presentation with the understanding that, after every six sentences or segments of your talk, you will introduce a question, which will establish a rhythm that breaks the continuous flow of information. It’s important to identify crucial points or messages in your presentation that you want to emphasize. These are the moments where you will strategically place your questions.

The primary goal of this strategy is to maintain audience engagement throughout your presentation. By intermittently pausing the flow of information and posing a question, you prompt the audience to momentarily shift their focus. This technique is particularly effective in preventing mental drift and ensuring that listeners remain attentive and actively processing the information.

What kind of questions should you ask?

Depending on your speaking style and the nature of your content, decide on the type of questions you’ll ask. The beauty of the Six One Strategy is that it can take on various forms. You can ask for a show of hands, request responses from the audience, or even toss out a rhetorical question. The key is to break the flow of information, making people think for those precious few seconds.

You can seamlessly introduce the question by using phrases like, “Let me ask you,” or “I want you to think about this for a moment.” Then allow a brief pause for the audience to process the question and formulate a response. This pause is crucial, as it creates a moment of anticipation and encourages active engagement.

Now, you might be wondering…

Why does this strategy work? 

It’s all about keeping your audience engaged. When you’re speaking, you can’t always be certain if your listeners are fully tuned in or absorbing what you’re saying. But, when you hit the brakes, ask a question for a mere second or two, it’s like a mental spotlight. Suddenly, that question is the only thing in people’s heads.

Also, when you invite the audience to actively participate in the presentation, this involvement transforms the experience from passive listening to active engagement, making the content more meaningful to the audience. And when they know a question is coming, they are more likely to stay attentive to catch the next engaging moment. This anticipation adds a layer of excitement to the presentation.

So there you have it, a practical strategy that can turn your presentations from drab to fab. The next time you take the stage, remember, questions are your secret weapon to captivating your audience.