A way to engage the interest of an audience unfamiliar with poetry could include emphasis on the relationship of the poem to the poet's experience and how the poem illuminates that experience. After describing the experience informally, the poet could then read the poem. An audience is often interested in how a poem comes about. That will make it seem available, not something oddball.
Neva Herrington is a poet and former educator. She is currently working on a new book of poetry, a collection of short stories, and her memoir. Her inspiration comes from her own experience and the work of other poets.