3 Ways to Keep Your Audience Engaged During Your Next Presentation

The battle for audience attention has grown even fiercer in the video meeting room. Here are three ways to keep your audience engaged.

Training Magazine

How often did you look at your phone or check your email during the last virtual presentation you attended? The battle for audience attention has grown even fiercer in the video meeting room. It’s time to get some new tricks up our sleeves.

As a veteran of the virtual workday, I know that hours upon hours of video conferences can take a toll, causing one to pine for the days of in-person presentations. But while the video screen may be a physical barrier between you and your colleagues, it doesn’t have to represent a roadblock to your audience’s engagement and learning. It just requires a new approach to sharing, discussing, and presenting information digitally.

Tip 1: Run mini-quizzes throughout your presentation to ensure that information sinks in

While the capacity of our brains may be deemed endless by the scientific community, not every presentation sticks the way we want. Constant distractions take our focus away from the topic at hand. To keep your next audience on its toes, take a page from your school days and add a pop quiz! A quiz can be an unexpected twist that adds a sense of fun and competition to the session. It helps keep up energy and engagement, and it can stimulate more excellent retention of your main messages. Testing your audience also gives you real-time feedback on your presentation delivery. It helps you understand the gaps in your audience’s knowledge to know where to invest the rest of your presentation time.

Tip 2: Tap into your audience’s creative juices (and involve them!) with a brainstorm

If you’ve got a problem that needs solving, there’s perhaps Nothing more effective than brainstorming. By deploying this classic creative technique in your presentation, you can make your audience feel involved and heard. Start by inviting your audience to engage in some creative creativity through a digital brainstorm tool that allows you to collect and reflect on your audience’s input. Keep up the intensity of the brainstorming by timing the self-reflection session and voting to narrow down the ideas. Enable participants to merge, build on or expand the pictures to get the creative juices indeed flowing towards your ultimate goal.

Tip 3: Stop wondering what your audience is thinking and ask them!

Running a poll, survey, or even making a word cloud with audience contributions can be a great way to read the virtual room and discover what people are thinking. This enables you as the presenter to ask questions or strengthen a particular point you want to make. It also makes your audience feel heard in an environment where it’s more challenging to raise a hand. To keep up the pace in your presentation, you may want to consider injecting polls or surveys throughout your session. Your presentation will feel like a two-way dialogue from start to finish.

Now more than ever, we need more fun and engagement in our digital presentations. Our sense of being an actual audience is dwindling in the digital work environment. Don’t be afraid to experiment with new tools and techniques that hold the potential to engage and even entertain your audience. Nothing keeps our attention more than interactivity, especially when it feels a lot like fun. With a few new tools under your belt, your next presentation holds the potential to be more memorable than ever.

James Micklethwait
James Micklethwait is VP of Kahoot!, a global learning platform company.