Monday, May 9, 2022

3 Ways for Writers Who Speak to Engage the Audience

by Linda Goldfarb @LindaGoldfarb

Are you eager to be remembered for your message and not your mistakes? With more than a thousand engagements in my speaking repertoire, I’ve found three practices extremely helpful as I plan to engage with my audience better.

I love how Father empowers us to empower others with our voices, don't you? If we choose to be personality-wise, pertinent, and punctual when presenting our messages, each audience member will walk away believing we were speaking directly to them. We may even hear, "It's like I've known you forever."

Tips to Engage Your Audience

1. Be a Personality-Wise Speaker
Do you realize to whom you're speaking? When I recognize and talk directly to the personalities in my audience, two tangibles increase—audience retention and my rebooking rate. 

As a co-author of the LINKED® Quick Guide to Personalities series, I reference our four dominant personality links when addressing my audience. The first one is the get-it-done Mobilizer, then we have the life-of-the-party Socializer, next is the keep-it-peaceful Stabilizer, and wrapping up our quartet of personality types is the everything-in-order Organizer. By including the easy-to-remember tagline and a story associated with each personality link, heads nod in agreement as individuals recognize themselves and their neighbors quickly. Engaging at this personal level builds instant rapport, resulting in “Linda sees me, and she knows me.”

Our audiences overflow with blends of the Mobilizer, Socializer, Stabilizer, and Organizer personality types. Therefore, to make the most significant impact with our message, it’s best to be personality-wise from the beginning and to include connectors that speak to everyone.

Use these LINKED® personality concepts to maximize your engagement as a speaker.

Mobilizers resonate with check-off boxes. Use bullet points and share concise action steps in your handouts and slide decks.

Socializers retain fun facts. Incorporate unusual props within your message and ask volunteers to use them—no personality test is needed for the individuals who race to the stage to get their pompoms.

Stabilizers relish relaxation. Consider just-because-you-showed-up “prizes” (Umm, don’t name them as such—wink) in the mix with any be-the-first-to options—as this personality tends not to jump up if they can remain seated.

Organizers require time to process. Offer a content outline such as, "During this session, we will …" to allow plenty of time for this personality to plan and participate.

Interested in knowing your dominant personality link? Check out

2. Be a Pertinent Speaker
Do people need to hear what you have to say? I recall the fabulous Florence Littauer speaking these words into an audience filled with communicators of all stages, and their truth stuck with me. There's no better question to ask yourself. And though we all want to answer quickly with, "Yes!” The proof is in the pertinence. 

Consider the relevance of your L.I.S.T. Speaking Model as it pertains to your audience. 
  • Consider the age/station of your audience. Are your life experiences relatable? 
  • Can you modify your instruction to fit the lifestyle of your audience members better?
  • Do you need to update or add any links/sources in your handout? 
  • Does your takeaway fit the appropriate felt need of your audience?
You never want to hear these last words from individuals walking out after your presentation, "Well, that was a waste of my time."

3. Be a Punctual Speaker
Punctuality. I love the unique-to-speakers application of this word. Can your audience take your message and apply it today? Two-fold. We're looking at timely and practical.

Time is precious. We cannot add more hours to a day or turn back the clock for do-overs. Therefore, be that speaker who shows up early and stays a little later. Be happy to help and tolerant when others overstep their time. Always have your 60-120-second synopsis ready to share, and you will never be without a mighty word to leave your audience spellbound. Consider Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address which changed history in less than three minutes. 

Practical makes it possible. Take the preciousness of time to the next level and be that speaker who supplies useful, everyday, I-can-do-this applications of your takeaway. 

I suffered from a bone spur under my kneecap. The orthopedic surgeon said, "Sit on the edge of a chair and extend the bottom portion of your leg 45-degrees one thousand times a day and it will go away." 

I heard, "You don’t have enough time in your day to make this work.” 

A better solution "Start with ten extensions, three times a day. Increase the repetitions by ten each consecutive week. Increasing the reps will shorten the healing process." 

When you offer doable applications geared to your specific audience (age, mobility, economic status, etc.), the follow-through rate increases substantially. 

Bonus: Be a Promise-keeper Speaker
Though I'm on stage, I always want to spotlight my Savior. As a chosen vessel who shares truth vocally, I must represent well. To keep that promise, I use a phrase to remind myself of who I am not, "I'm not Truth. I point to Him."

For this reminder, one of my associated Scriptures is John 3:30 from the ESV translation, "He must increase, but I must decrease.” As Christian writers who speak, may we all be encouraged to walk in this way, one speech at a time.

Until next time, remember that your voice is a gift—use it with purpose.


Besides hosting the award-winning, YOUR BEST WRITING LIFE PODCAST, Linda Goldfarb is a multi-published award-winning author, audiobook narrator, international speaker, board-certified Christian life coach, and the co-owner, co-founder of the LINKED® Personality System, and co-author of the LINKED® Quick Guide to Personality series.

Linda and her hubby, Sam are empty nesters leading full lives. With four adult children and grand-baby #15 on the way—life is a new adventure every day. She loves sipping frothed coffee with friends, traveling the countryside with Sam, and sharing transparent truth to help others take their next best step—personally and professionally.

Connect with Linda 


  1. Thank you, Linda! I found these tips very helpful, your first tip is giving m some to ponder.

  2. Thank you, Marsha. Yes, the concept of being personality-wise when we speak can be a bit daunting at first. Once we understand the basics of personalities, we can recognize the need to connect with each person from their point of reference. Did you get a chance to take the Personality Quiz?