How to Win Attendees’ Attention With More Engaging Presentations

Encourage your keynote speaker to move away from the PowerPoint and closer to your attendees


As a meeting planner, you know the importance of booking keynote speakers who will engage your audience. To ensure your presenters deliver maximum audience engagement, encourage them to put the following into action:

Foster a conversation
Planners should focus on enticing presenters to nurture the conversation with their audience from as early as the planning stage. Before the meeting, use your event's social media channels to start conversations. Post content related to the speaker's anticipated focus. Augment all posts with event hashtags, memes, GIFs and content to further inspire sharing.

Promoting compelling content and encouraging social conversations prior to the event will better allow your speaker and audience to build rapport and helps both parties to prepare for what is to come.

The same holds true after the meeting. Ask the presenter if they would be willing to offer session recaps, and answer questions and engage with your event's audience via their social media channels, the event app or other platforms to keep the conversation going.

Set up for success
Room design plays an integral role in helping attendees to feel a part of speaker presentations. Rearrange seating patterns in the conference room or on the show floor before the event takes place. After assessing your audience size and space constraints, you can manipulate the seating layout to support a more interactive experience. Setting up banquet-style seating might encourage people to look at each another and exchange more ideas. Other off-beat seating arrangements to consider: orchestra and boardroom.

Involve the audience
Encourage the speaker to include the audience in their presentation by using live-polls, audience-involved demonstrations and interactive Q&As so they would have a better chance of capturing interest from the get-go at the event.

By involving the audience, the speaker will not only break up the monotony of a slide show, they will also give their audience some autonomy and responsibility over the topic and flow of the presentation.

Recycle strong content
Archive a slide library that will make content easy to find and share among the appropriate parties once the meeting is over. That provides control over the content and allows you to track usage.

Working from a slide library ensures that the presentation's message will remain consistent. It also saves time. Edits and adjustments can be made to the presentation's message based on the intended audience.

By encouraging presenters to deliver it in a more conversational and interactive manner, you will help them keep your audience engaged.

AlexAnndra Ontra is the co-founder and president of Shufflrr, a presentation management platform, and co-author of Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content.

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