Conference presentations are not always the most exciting. Using audience interaction tools will boost audience engagement.
The spot light is on. The microphone is ready. The presentation is prepared. The audience? Bored. They’ve seen all this before. They’re waiting for the speech to be over so they can go to lunch…
Conference presentations without audience interaction have a way of drifting quickly into snooze territory. It’s not all your fault. You no doubt have important things present, so don’t take it personally. The problem is, often conferences have multiple speakers and long, full-day schedules. It’s nearly impossible to keep an audience engaged for an entire day at a conference without some tools.
In this article, we take a look at how to crush your next speech by increasing your presentation value and mastering the art of audience interaction.
Accessibility is Everything in Audience Interaction
No matter what the nature of your speaking engagement is, your audience is going to be filled with people who come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some of them may be experts on the topic you are discussing. Others are going to be complete novices. Your job is to be relevant to everyone.
You don’t want to water down ideas or avoid complicated topics simply to cater to the few beginners in the crowd. However, you should try to make sure that there is something in your presentation for everyone.
Use audience interaction to ask about their background and what they want to get out of your presentation. You can then adjust your talking points to their needs. Also, integrate multiple forms of dynamic media. The majority of people are visual learners.
It’s also critical to focus not just on what you say but how you say it. This is called vocal delivery. A good speaker can breathe life into any presentation. Adjust your pitch, moderate your tone, and have dynamic volume. Focus on sounding friendly, casual, and conversational while also never wavering in your professional authority. It may be difficult to strike a balance, but it’s also the difference between a great speech and a mediocre one.
Questions and Answers
A Q&A session is a great way to end any speaking engagement with audience interaction. For one thing, it allows you to clarify points that perhaps didn’t get as much attention as you would have liked them to during the speech itself. It also gives the chance to get in-the-moment feedback from the audience themselves.
An audience member may reveal what points you made well or which could use some more sussing out. Chances are, they will also just enjoy the personal component that Q&As add to an event.
Consider adding crowd polling as an audience interaction. It’s now very easy to allow audience members to weigh in on an issue you are discussing, or simply provide feedback on the event itself through Duelbox or other tools. What can really boost the energy in your audience is to include a poll with a binary choice. Asking the audience to take sides can inject a sense of competition and raise the stakes of a question.
The key to audience interaction is making the show less about you and more about the audience. Involve your audience with interactive games and activities. Cater the event to their needs and expectations. And make sure to mix up your speech with media and calls to action. All of these things will help you create a more memorable and effective event