How To Keep Your Audience Engaged Using WIIFM (What’s In It For Me)

One of the best ways to keep your audience engaged during your talk is to use the “What’s In It For Me” or the WIFM/WIIFM process. That’s because those five words represent the universal question that’s in every single one of your audience’s minds.

As they’re sitting down in their chairs, looking and listening to you, they’re asking themselves, “What’s in it for me? How will you add value to my life? Why should I give you my undivided attention?

You’ve probably had first-hand experience of this when you sat through a speech or presentation. Once you hear someone talking about themselves and they’re telling you how great they are, they’ve only got a couple of minutes before you start thinking, “Okay mate. Enough about you. What’s in it for me?

If you do not address this and all you do is talk about yourself, well, unfortunately, the audience is not going to like you. And even worse, they won’t remember you or your presentation because studies have found that we only remember things based on how important they are to us.

By using the WIFM process in your presentation, your audience will love you, they will trust you, and you will have their full and undivided attention.

Here’s how you can incorporate the “What’s In It For Me” method into your speech to keep your audience engaged.

The WIFM Arc Of Energy

This is the WIFM arc of energy that you should use when presenting. Here’s what the graph means.

Ben talking about the WIFM arc of energy image

When you start talking about yourself, use Low energy (ME), then go to Medium energy talking about the problem (IT), and then use High energy when talking about your audience (THEM).

As an example, during the first part of my presentation, I need to get position with you so you can feel that I’m a credible and trustworthy person. This means I have to tell you about something I’ve done that makes me an expert or that makes me credible.

So, what I do within a couple of minutes of being on stage is, I gain strong position by talking about my credentials and achievements, but I do it in low energy.

Once I start talking about the problem of my topic, I increase the energy level of my presentation a little bit. And since I moved up energy levels, before you know it, you’ve forgotten about the fact that I spoke about myself.

You just forget because I’ve shifted my energy up away from where you stored all the memory of how excellent I am.

Then, I go to high energy and talk about you. I would share with you how you can benefit in return for your complete attention. I’ll make you laugh, I’ll give you a brand new tool, a new perspective or a method that you can use to improve your life.

As I keep arcing the energy and making it about you, I could talk about myself all day long and you’ll never get sick of it!

Brain waves imageIf we look at it from a brain wave perspective, we could say that I am storing my positioning in Theta and Delta, I’m discussing the problem in Alpha, and I’m talking about you in Beta.

And as I shift my energy, you store things at different frequencies inside your mind. By the time I’m done with my talk, you completely forget that I spoke about myself.

So, any time you lose position inside the room, you can get it back and keep your audience engaged by just following the WIFM arc.

Trust, Inform, Prosper

Let’s say I’m five hours into a talk, and I feel that the audience is no longer feeling that I’m credible. I can just stop my talk right there and drop in a TIP.

Bored man in a seminar image

A TIP stands for: what can you TRUST about me (what’s my experience), what can I INFORM you about (what did I discover), and then how can you PROSPER from it (how you can benefit).

These TIPs are instant positioning statements you can make to gain the room’s trust and credibility back in a very short time. I have hundreds of these tips that I can deliver anywhere if I want rapid positioning to occur.

I suggest you start writing your own TIPs so you can use them any time in your presentation when you feel like you’re losing your audience.

What’s In It For Me / TIP Example

Man speaking in front of an audience imageHere is a good example of the “What’s In It For Me” process to keep your audience engaged. Play around with this example and use your own words so you can come with your own TIPs to use for your talk.

TRUST (Low Energy): Hi, my name is Ben. Having been a professional speaker now for more than 12 and a half years and done 200 days of presenting every year, I’ve also been fortunate enough to achieve quite a level of success in this industry. I have served thousands of people, and from a revenue perspective, I’ve earned over a million dollars in under seven days from doing this craft – and I’ve done that 20 times during my career. I’m quite fortunate to have learned this craft from the best in the world, and I’m humbled by the results that I get both financially and from the people’s lives that I get to touch.

INFORM (Medium Energy): During that time I’ve learned something very important. When it comes to presenting, what you want to learn first and foremost is that the most important word in all of your presentations is the word “you”. If you learn how to use the word “you” effectively when you’re on a platform speaking to a large group of people, you’ll find that everyone in that room will think that you’re speaking to them. In fact, everyone in that room will start to feel appreciated because everyone in that room came on their own and they sat down in a group full of strangers. But when you as the speaker, use the word “you”, you bring that person in and make them feel unique. And that’s something that amateurs miss all the time.

PROSPER (High Energy): Now what does that mean for you? It means this. The next time you’re presenting, see if you can use the word you 25 times in the first 15 minutes without sounding weird. And if you do this while maintaining eye contact, I guarantee you that your talks will go through the roof! I want you to picture this right now. I want you to imagine your next presentation, everybody gets up at the end and gives you a standing ovation, and there’s a queue of people lining up saying, “That was the best talk I ever heard!”

How To Keep Your Audience Engaged Using The “What’s In It For Me” Process – In Conclusion

A happy and engaged audience image

Getting your position is important and learning how to do it with the right energy is also very important. If you get the energy wrong, you’ll see that all of a sudden, nobody likes you because you’re just talking about yourself.

Also, when you’re out there presenting, always remember that it’s not about you. It’s about your audience. Think of beneficial and useful topics that you can share and that they can in their lives. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about them!

Want more tips on how to become a world-class speaker? Get started by downloading our free Presenter’s Pro Formula audio program here. You can also enquire about our Present Like A Pro course here.

Read more about: Speaking

Ben is the Difference-Maker Mentor and Co-founder of Authentic Education. He is exquisite at inspiring people to share their message, make a difference in the world and live abundantly on purpose.

Ben has been featured in media such as the Today Show,,, Huffington Post and