Tips for Boosting Attendee Engagement at Corporate Meetings
August 7, 2018
Human attention spans are getting shorter, partially due to the fact that we now have pocket-sized computers that we carry everywhere we go. As a result, it can often be difficult to hold the audience’s attention at corporate meetings. Now more than ever, it is essential for event leaders to be engaging when presenting information at these meetings. If you are using the same tired tactics and not facilitating audience participation, attendees will lose interest fast.
Here are a few good strategies for boosting attendee engagement at corporate meetings:
1. Figure Out What Works and What Doesn’t
An excellent way to see if your current methods are engaging enough is by distributing a survey to your attendees. Once you have finished a meeting, have the audience fill out these surveys anonymously. Make sure to include questions that can actually help you improve your engagement strategy. You can also try using focus groups consisting of members of your target market. This would allow you to try certain methods in front of a limited audience before a full corporate meeting.
2. Split the Presentation into Short Segments
Presentations where the speaker talks about one topic for extended periods of time is a recipe for disaster. There’s no way the audience will be able to hold interest for that long. Therefore, you should break up your presentation into approximately 10-minute segments. This caters to the short attention spans of your attendees.
3. Facilitate Audience Participation
After each 10 minute segment, have your speakers take questions from the audience. Better yet, try having the speaker develop an interactive exercise to complement a given segment. This gets the audience involved in the presentation, making them more interested in the subject at hand.
4. Add a Team-building Game or Exercise
At a certain point during the presentation, it is a good idea to take a break and include a game or team exercise that relates to the meeting. Alternatively, you could use this time to have everyone stand up and stretch. You can even play some upbeat music. This will give the attendees a much-needed boost of energy and interest in the meeting.
5. Try to Relate Stories to the Audience Members
Whenever a speaker shares a personal story during a meeting, they should try to make it relevant to the lives of the attendees. Sharing a unique, inspiring story is definitely still encouraged. However, if the speaker tells this story for a lengthy amount of time without somehow providing its relevance to the meeting, it might disengage the attendees.
6. Use the “Tag Team” Method for Speakers in Different Fields
There will be times when you invite a speaker from a different career field to your meeting. It is a good idea to also have someone from the same field as the attendees there as well. This way, they can use a “tag team” approach, in which the guest speaker can share something from their field and the other speaker can share how it can relate to the field of the audience.
7. Make Technology Your Friend
Since attendees are distracted by technology already, try using it to your advantage. VR is becoming extremely popular and would be a fun way to present the information from the meeting in an interactive format. You could also have them answer polls, ask questions, or otherwise connect to the presentation using their smartphones. This is an exciting and fresh tactic that can switch up the mundane and traditional format of meetings.
8. Include Opportunities for Brainstorming
When presented with a tough business dilemma at a meeting, you should always try to encourage the attendees to brainstorm and contribute their ideas for a solution. Time should be allocated for them to collaborate with their co-workers in small groups and come up with a response. This is a great way to keep everyone engaged while also help build teamwork and problem-solving skills.
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