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Yes, you can be more engaging

This past week, I got to work with the crew from Hillside Communications for a training in Dallas, TX, for medical professionals, and I always love these opportunities because of the challenge they present. In certain fields, like medicine, there are a lot of things these experts can and cannot say. Compliance is a really big deal because of the risk involved in giving misinformation, speaking off-brand, etc.

The Hillside Communications Team
The Hillside Communications Team

The question that always comes up in these trainings is, how can I be more engaging when I have very little to no wiggle room to share stories, get through every single slide on my deck (which is required), and fully communicate the dense data on most slides?

And here is why I love it. One thing I learned as an artist and improviser is that the tighter the container, and the more we understand that container, only then can we find the formlessness.

Cool. What does that mean, Meridith?

​Well, if you understand the journey you want to take your audience on and how you are going to get them to the end in mind, the destination, the easier it will be for you to engage with them, show your personality, and find ways to humanize things like the case studies so your audience can see themselves in your story. But in order to do that, you need to:


  • Have a clear structure (your roadmap).

  • Identify the need-to-know on each slide.

  • Practice the transitions between each visual.

  • And practice, out-loud, as much as you can.


And, often times, these presentations get delivered several times, so how are you adjusting and growing between presentations? I encourage you to get feedback, journal about how you felt it went. What did you do well? What would you adjust for next time? How could you have been more clear?

​Be in constant investigation.

​Your audience deserves for you to show up in the best way possible. And if better engagement is a priority for you, then the additional work you put in will pay off exponentially. ✨


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