Audience Engagement

Marsha Shandur

In Episode 11, host Trevor Currie talks to Marsha Shandur, a networking and storytelling coach from about the importance of networking and storytelling and how to do both well.

Listening Notes:

1:14Trevor asks Marsha how she explains what she does when people ask that inevitable question. Marsha shares that the answer always depends on the context.
2:25Marsha explains why she loves teaching people how to network more comfortably and tell stories in a more compelling way.
6:35Trevor asks Marsha how people can introduce themselves and talk about what they do in a way that ignites interest, fosters conversation and builds relationships.
7:37Trevor and Marsha discuss how to take the dread out of networking so it can be more enjoyable and fruitful.
10:02Marsha shares why most people hate networking and how you can shift your mindset and approach to connect and communicate more effectively.
10:58Marsha explains why “selling yourself” is not the way to excel at networking.
12:12Trevor asks Marsha how she helps her clients garner the confidence they need to approach the people they’d most like to meet.
14:45Trevor shares how he noticed that his approach to networking is different when he’s speaking at an event versus attending, and how noticing that difference changed how he now networks at every event he attends.
16:53Marsha suggests that the most important thing you can do when you want to connect with important people is to show genuine interest in them. Powerful networking is about inquiry not broadcasting.
18:29Trevor asks Marsha what tips she has to help people stop thinking about what they’re going to say next and focused instead on what the person they’re talking to is actually saying.
19:55Marsha talks about the storytelling traps people often fall into and provides a variety of tips on how to avoid those pitfalls so you can tell more compelling stories.
23:10Trevor asks Marsha to further explain the different aspects of great storytelling: voice-over, montage and action.
24:30Trevor and Marsha discuss the baby steps people can take to start improving the stories they tell when they present.
26:01Marsha takes Trevor through an exercise to demonstrate how powerful stories are in conveying information and insight about people, places and situations.

You can learn more about the TED talk, books, podcasts and other links Marsha mentioned during the interview by visiting

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Habituation (or How Not To Bore Your Audience)


In Episode 2, host Trevor Currie and producer Karen Ward talk about habituation and why it's so important to change things up if you want to keep your audience's interest and attention.

Listening Notes:

1:04Trevor shares the definition of habituation and how it relates to speaking well.
1:55Karen asks about the various ways speakers can fight against habituation so they can keep their audiences engaged.
2:45Trevor talks about Jeffery Toobin, an American lawyer, author and legal analyst for CNN and The New Yorker, and how he mixes things up during an interview on NPR's Fresh Air.
3:42Karen shares her reflections on the radio program This American Life and why it is such a good example of how to fight habituation when you speak and tell stories.
4:36Trevor talks about Radio Lab, another radio program, and how they fight against habituation by using different voices, pacing and sound effects.
5:35Trevor talks about the importance of planning your content in a way that prompts you to use a different element of your voice or approach to delivery.
6:53Karen asks if there are contexts when it doesn’t make sense to switch it up too much when you’re speaking.
9:11Trevor clarifies that fighting habituation is not about trying to be an actor. It’s about being yourself and planning your content so you naturally change your inflection, delivery and pace.
10:22Trevor talks about how nerves can lead speakers to speak more formally and technically and become “tight”. This often translates to habituation – and a bored, disengaged audience.
11:17Trevor shares his best habituation-fighting tips.
14:28Trevor suggests David Pogue’s TED Talk as a great example of an animated, anti-habituation presentation.
15:52Trevor reminds us that variety is the spice of life. Add some to your presentation!
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