CREATING TALKS FOR THE COMMUNITY: ENGAGING YOUR AUDIENCE

Updated: Feb 9


Creating educational talks is a great way to reach your ideal client avatar, get your name out to your local or virtual community, and earn some money. Talks for the community and public can count towards your CNS hours. You can track prep time and time delivering your program or workshop.


  1. Give the audience an overview before you jump in. Communicate your learning outcomes. Tell the audience a bit about you, your background and credentials. See this article here on writing student learning outcomes. https://assessment.provost.wisc.edu/student-learning-outcomes/writing-student-learning-outcomes/

  2. Speak at their level. Many new graduates prepare lectures like the ones they heard from their professors. This is a common mistake. Talk to friends and clients to reconnect to the types of questions and topics they are interested in.

  3. Avoid “Death by Powerpoint.” Avoid reading the slides. Avoid content overload on the slides. A good rule is the 6x6 rule. No more than 6 lines of text per slide, no more than 6 words per line. Use graphics and pictures to represent the material and use that as a jumping off point. I love using presenter tools to write my notes in case I forgot why I put a picture on the slide!

  4. Avoid information overload. You should estimate 2 minutes per slide. A 60 min presentation should not have more than 30 slides.

  5. Engage the audience with interaction. A good talk gives the audience an opportunity to apply what they are learning. Include a game like Family Feud or Jeopardy. Break into small groups. Play “this or that,” i.e. which food has more sugar Vitamin Water or Orange Juice? Plan a menu or a meal as a class from the material you presented. There are so many ways to apply material in a fun and engaging way.

  6. Engage your audience with your words and body language. Are you virtual? Use your eye contact, body language, tone of voice to engage your audience. This takes some practice. It is harder to gauge the audience’s excitement and interest virtually. Your first talk will feel a little weird. I like to pretend as if my students are sitting on the edge of their seats so I can channel that world famous public speaker lurking inside me.

  7. Appeal to their head, heart and stomach.

  8. To appeal to their head include some primary research studies. Don’t just rely on secondary resources. Give them a bit of technical information

  9. To appeal to their stomach include food inspiration via recipes or food samples.

  10. To appeal to their heart weave in healing and learning stories about clients.