Audience and participants. Same same but different. While audience connotes a passive receiver, participant on the other hand is usually proactive in giving and engaging in deeper conversations.
As a host, as a speaker or as a presenter, you must have spent days racking your brain for ideas to turn your audience into participants. Your best takeaway should be to encourage these participants to co-create the content with you while you speak. Easier said than done, how exactly?
Mingle and Amp Up the Fun
Recently I went for a conference alone and sure, it felt intimidating but I remember one thing the speaker did to make everyone feel at ease. He made us walk across the room to mingle with everyone else. It definitely helped to break the ice because towards the end, I noticed more people talking to one another.
Throughout the talk, the speaker also provided a lot of opportunities for interaction. Well, maybe a gimmick but he encouraged the audience to take out our phones to connect with him on LinkedIn. Again, I see many people discussing about his profile in that few minutes. He even went on Facebook live together with all of us! That’s how exactly he warmed up the crowd.
Sharing is Caring
Like I said earlier, perhaps your best takeaway should be to co-create content with your participants. So use a platform that allows them to participate. Use surveys and polls, or give them a topic and get them to share their stories. It engages them and makes them feel empowered to be part of the sharing.
Giving Recognition to Your Participants
You and I, we like to be recognised so acknowledge your participants’ questions. If possible, integrate their stories into your sharing session and make them feel more connected. They will be more willing to engage in your session.
A very good example of how the same speaker gave recognition to the participants who answered his questions – prizes. Nothing fanciful but it got everyone excited to answer his questions. He gave recognition and rewards so it encourages people to share more.
When people start sharing, the engagement level increases. And there, you have captivated their heart and successfully transformed your audience from passive receivers into active participants!
Have more ideas to engage your audience? Share them with us!