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No one likes to be lectured to, or "talked at."

But that's how thousands of business people deliver presentations. They are shoveling information at their listeners, not even aware if their audience hears, cares or understands. Data dumps.

If you rely on the "shovel" approach, imagine your self in the front row of your next presentation. Do you really want slide after slide of data, with no interaction; a dull lecture by a boring teacher? That's what you're doing if you don't engage the audience.

The cure? Have a conversation with your audience.  Most importantly, gauge their attention. Ask them questions; seek input; get interactive.

Unless you're delivering the State of the Union Address or a eulogy, interacting with your audience is one of the most important steps you can take to up-level your presentations.

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Loraine Antrim is co-founder of Core Ideas Communication, a communications consulting agency focused on presentation development and media training for C-suite executives. Core Ideas enables executives to package and communicate relevant and compelling messages in their presentations and interviews. Loraine's expertise is killing butterflies. You know, butterflies: the feeling in your stomach before you have to present or speak in public. Loraine works with executives to create a powerful story, memorable messages and an authentic delivery style. Confidence kicks in, and butterflies scatter. Nice work killing butterflies! You can contact Loraine at: manager at coreideas.com