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5 Tips on How to Keep your Audience Engaged during Conferences

Every presenter in the world wants to have an interested, engaged and attentive audience for their conferences. As you know, in order for your message to be heard and to be received, your audience has to hear it. But in order for them to hear it, they have to be paying attention.

Here are 5 of the best tactics around to help keep your audience right on track with your message and participating to the fullest:

1) Ask Questions that Require a Verbal Response

Audience participation is paramount if you want to keep people interested in what you’re saying. When putting your presentation together, make sure that you choose and ask questions that you know that your audience will either have an answer to, or have an opinion on. Having them engage verbally will help keep their focus on you.

2) Ask for them to Raise their Hands

Taking polls during conferences can definitely work to your advantage. If anyone in your audience is too shy to give a verbal opinion, they’ll more than likely be willing to partake in a “show of hands” poll that you can take during your presentation. Ask questions that ask about their experience, their opinions, or their needs.

3) Make them Use their Imagination

Another great tactic that the best presenters use to help keep the audience alert and on track is to ask them to create a mental picture. Ask them to think of an event, a time, or an example in their own life which would relate to whatever your presentation is about. This method not only helps keep them interested, but it will also make your message become more tangible and realistic to them. It will allow them to visualize and see how they can apply your message to their own lives.

Alternatively, you can give them a mental picture from time to time as well. Use rich descriptive words to help build up a particular image in their minds.

4) Give them Time to Talk in Groups

Allowing members of the audience to engage with one another in either partner or group-like situations will allow them to explore different ideas and come up with different questions about the material being presented. Some presenters are wary of asking for people to talk in groups as they feel this may cause the audience to become unfocused, but the truth is that working in a group can help refocus people and help deepen their understanding of the points in your presentation.

5) Come Up with a Game or Exercise

Throwing in a game or some sort of exercise is a great way to keep people’s interest going during conferences, especially when you reach the mid-point of your presentation. Better yet, if there’s a prize to be won, this will only further encourage them to put 100% effort into the exercise. If you choose to offer a prize or prizes, try to make it relevant and tailored to your presentation.

Useful and unique promotional products bearing your company’s or product name are great prizes to give out to winning teams. They both increase company recognition and further help encourage peer participation. Promotional products added to conference bags with a limited number marked as winners can also be a great way to draw the participant’s attention not only to the product but also to your brand and really create a contest winning feeling at conferences.

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