5 Ways To Keep Your Audience Engaged During Online Meetings
Even if you’ve never completely fallen asleep in a meeting, we’ve all had those moments when it seems almost impossible to focus on an online meeting or presentation.
While it may seem reasonable to criticize a distracted audience, it is always the presenter’s responsibility not to waste everyone’s time with a boring presentation that no one will remember in an hour.
Employing pitch-worthy presentation tactics is costing you a lot of time and money; from missing out on potential long-term business because you’ve miscommunicated your enthusiasm for a new project to missing out on a brilliant idea by refusing to engage your team members in dialogue.
Here are five ways for your audience to avoid distractions and pay attention in online meetings and presentations.
1. Put The Phone Out Of Reach
Don’t think you’re the only one who feels incomplete without your phone in your pocket or attached to your computer, but implementing reasonable rules for leaving your phone off during meetings is essential to keeping your audience engaged.
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This is much easier to incorporate into smaller teams and there may be times when completely banishing the phone is impossible. Obviously, it’s also not a good idea to tell a potential customer to stop using their phone. However, you can always start small and lead by example. Just put your phone out of reach and make sure you interact thoughtfully during each other’s introductions instead of staring at your phone. This mall step can help instill a sense of collaboration in your meetings, which you can easily implement into your company culture.
2. Reduce Your PowerPoint Or KeyNote
It’s time to reduce the paragraphs of your presentations. While having text is an easy crutch to fall back on if you lose your train of thought, reading directly from your presentation will instantly lose your audience.
Insert short texts and related images to attract the audience. If you have text, limit it to 5 words or less and use large bold fonts to help convey the topic at hand. And don’t memorize what you’re going to say word for word, because you run the risk of sounding like a monotonous robot.
3. Talk about you
When it comes to presentations, encouraging feedback and conversation is vital to keeping your audience engaged. Charts and figures will always be essential, but telling personal, relatable stories is a great way to engage people and retain key information.
Whether you’re looking to break up a data-heavy section of the meeting or just catch some wandering minds, try sharing a personal connection you’ve had to the topic to keep your audience engaged.
4. Get Creative And Add Video Elements
2020 is the year of video and adding it to presentations is a great way to capture interest and bring movement to boring online meetings and presentations.
Start small by experimenting with presentation tools like Canva or PowerPoint, or consider searching YouTube for an example of a good campaign from one of your competitors. Regardless of how you use them, videos can be a great way to break your presentation into more manageable chunks.
5. Summarize, Then Do It Again, And Another
Even if you have implemented all the above tactics to put together an attractive presentation, it is possible that you will still lose audience.
As attention becomes shorter and shorter, an absent mind will inevitably wander and miss information. Summarizing and providing clear conclusions is key to getting your message across. Don’t forget to send a follow-up email, with your presentation attached, and underline the key points in the body of your message.