When your audience isn’t in the same room as you, it’s easy for them to feel disengaged and disconnected. Tailor your presentation so that there are plenty of opportunities for the audience to interact with you directly. Check out our strategies for engaging and connecting with your audience in a virtual meeting or presentation!
- Kick Things off with a Survey: Get your audience engaged from the get-go by starting your presentation with a question that requires a response from the audience. For example, “Who here has ever had a verbal conflict with a colleague at work?” Many video call platforms allow you to construct an actual survey that will pop up on each participant’s screen, but you can also use a simpler response, such as raising a hand or typing a response using the chat tool.
- Use Your Chat Tool: Video call platforms typically include a chat tool which allows participants to type textbased messages to the presenter or the group during the call. Invite your audience to send you questions via chat as you present. This gives the audience a way of directly interacting with you without disrupting the flow of your presentation. Periodically pause when appropriate to address questions and comments as needed.
- Share the Spotlight: Ask questions that require a direct verbal response by an audience member (e.g., “Can someone tell me what they find the most challenging about networking?”). These little moments will help your audience feel as though you’re speaking with them, not at them, which will help them feel more connected to your message.
- Include Group Work: If people are hesitant to speak, having participants discuss an idea in small groups is a great way to get people to share their ideas. Introduce a discussion topic, and then use break-out rooms to allow participants to discuss in small groups for a few minutes before returning to the larger group and sharing their thoughts.
If you are looking to polish your communication skills be sure to pick up a free copy of my e-book “Communicate with Clarity and Confidence!” by subscribing to our newsletter community on our website. For additional information call us at 212-308-7725 or send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you might have!
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