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– 10.05.2024.

Audience Engagement: Ways to keep the crowd involved in your Virtual Event

Our attention span is becoming worse and worse as the years go by and there is nothing we can do about it. When hosting an event or giving speeches you should adjust to the audience and try to be as interesting and informative as possible so they would actually want to pay attention to what…

Mia Milic

USA

Blog illustration audience engagement 02

Our attention span is becoming worse and worse as the years go by and there is nothing we can do about it. When hosting an event or giving speeches you should adjust to the audience and try to be as interesting and informative as possible so they would actually want to pay attention to what you have to say, but it doesn’t stop there! 

When you manage to capture peoples’ attention your next job is keeping it, you don’t want them looking at the phone or zoning off, do you? This might be difficult to manage but guess what? It is not impossible!

Engaging those who are your target market is essential for all companies, regardless of the area of your expertise.  Involvement from the audience maintains the company’s reputation up to date, and this will be your guide in how to achieve exactly that!

Ways to make the audience listen

Find common ground between you and those in attendance

If you know your target audience well enough and understand them, it will be much easier to connect and make them listen to what you have to say. Think about what they like and what they relate to the most.

 Before the event you have to prepare and try putting yourself in your audience’s shoes. What would you want to hear and what would capture your attention most? 

Think about the most interesting topics you are covering in your speech and maybe start with that. Be relatable and funny, tell an exciting story. Maybe ask a controversial question that can get the discussion going. Don’t feel intimidated by your audience or panic if they don’t laugh at the joke you make. Try being as relaxed and natural as possible, that will help you establish an emotional connection to your audience so they would find you likable.

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Pay attention to the way you talk

Try talking clearly, don’t talk too fast or too slow. Because your event is virtual, your voice is your primary asset. Even the most captivating speakers may struggle to adjust to a virtual environment. You have a slight disadvantage because you are not actually in the room face to face with your audience. 

It is very important that they understand everything you are saying, if they don’t they will resort to not listening and you will lose their attention. 

A monotone and dull voice gets way worse in the virtual world and is very difficult to hear. Avoid using unclear wording connotations.  Listeners are not provided with the luxury of going back to look through the text in order to figure out what you were trying to say.

This can all be done with a bit of practice. Read your speech and go through the presentation as many times as you need to perfect it. Practice the tone of your voice as well, don’t be too loud or too quiet. 

Try preparing in front of your friends and family and ask them for honest opinions. It’s also good if you try recording yourself and giving a speech in front of the mirror so you can watch back and see what you may be doing wrong and then correct it. 

None of the speakers you have listened to before just went on the stage and did it perfectly the first time, so don’t stress, practice, do your best and you will be fine.

Don’t be afraid to make a pause

People tend to get nervous when they can’t remember what they want to say and then they feel like the pause they make when speaking is quite long when in reality it usually lasts around five seconds at most. You just have that feeling because you are the only one who is speaking. 

It’s completely okay to take a pause and breathe, that can also make what you have to say next sound more meaningful. Pauses can also help you in remaining calm. You’ll be able to regain focus on your ideas and plan ahead of time, which makes you appear more imposing and knowledgeable during talks and presentations.

Concentrate on the crucial points

I get it, you have a lot to say in your presentation and want to thoroughly cover all the grounds on the topic you are talking about. It’s just not realistic for people to take all of that information at once. I’m sorry to say, but it’s quite possible that they will find you boring if you do that.

Instead, focus on covering only the most important bits of your presentation. Using a lot of words and small talk wastes time and distracts from the point. 

It’s important that your audience hears the message you are trying to send very loud and clear. That will not happen if you jump from one topic to another and say everything you intend to, it will only make your speech harder to follow.

How do I get them to engage?

  1. Start off strong

If you want the crowd to be invested throughout the entirety of your speech, you must begin with a fascinating introduction. Intrigue the audience with an anecdote or an eyebrow raising question. 

  1. Ask the audience to give their opinion

People just love to share their opinion, rely on that and ask the audience a question! Maybe share your experience on the topic and then ask them about theirs. Inspire the crowd to share their thoughts about the subject matter you are discussing. It’s all up to you to make the presentation interactive and get the audience to participate. 

  1. Add exciting content to your presentation

You could start with adding an exciting video, blog, news post or other content to the beggining of your presentation and then quiz the audience on it later. This can also provide some context and information on the topic of your speech, so the audience could get more interested in what you have to say.

Conclusion

If you want your virtual event to be a success it is crucial to capture and maintain the crowd’s attention. To keep viewers engaged during a presentation, it’s important to understand your audience, deliver a clear and interesting speech, and incorporate interactive and fun elements.

Don’t forget to:

  1. Connect to your audience
  2. Speak clearly 
  3. Feel free to make a pause
  4. Be concise and direct
  5. Have a good intro
  6. Ask the audience a question
  7. Include stimulating content

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