Finish Speaking Before Your Audience Is Finished Listening

Image taken from the U of A Virtual Open House

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it, or you can inspire it.” – Simon Sinek

Now that we’ve all participated in, or watched, our fair share of virtual events, I’m sure, if called upon, we could all share and compare our robust lists of DO’s and DON’Ts. The ultimate factor in whether any digital event is successful – content. Second to that – delivery.

FYI! People decide if they are going to watch a live session within the first minute. After that they give it 2 minutes before they click out, check out, or start multi-tasking.

Just because you build it, virtual audiences won’t necessarily come. Sorry Kevin Costner (a “Field of Dreams” reference for you younger folks)! They – while this should go without saying – need a reason to make that time and/or financial commitment. That reason is your content.

In one of our recent blog posts (“Speaker Best Practices for Digital Events“), our team put together some great tips and tricks to make sure speakers and presenters are set up to succeed in a digital event space knowing that digital events are here to stay.

Of those tips and tricks, we want to highlight our top 10 tips for audience engagement. Your stakeholders have all worked so hard to collect the appropriate content, so how can we ensure that it’s being delivered in the most engaging and impactful ways?

  1. Decide how each session is going to end. Be clear on what action you want the audience to take at the end of each session.
  2. What are the three things the audience should walk away with after each session? Ask your audience! Put out a real-time poll.
  3. Bring the audience into the conversation.
  4. Avoid spending the first three minutes on introductions and/or housekeeping.
  5. Break a 30-minute session into 3 – 5-minute sessions; alternating between informative segments and inspirational or entertaining anecdotes, or real world examples.
  6. Balance storytelling with learning.
  7. Work with this format for session presentations: proposal > evidence > action.
  8. Do not read your slides or put any text in a slide that you are going to say; slides should be complementary and not redundant.
  9. Limit each slide to one clear idea or topic.
  10. Think about ‘visual boredom’. Provide a new visual every 30 to 60 seconds and do not repeat more than three of the same type of visual in a row.

There you have it! Our top 10 x DO’s to ensure that content and delivery collide and what results is maximum engagement at your next digital event.

**computer mic drop**

– Your Tycoon, Eryne XO