online presentation participants

The #1 Worry Hosting on Zoom or Presenting on Teams? “What if the audience isn’t engaged?”

Often our clients #1 worry when it comes to virtual hosting or speaking is engaging their audience, they can’t see whether the audience is receiving their message. They worry they are boring the person at the other end of the video call.

And there are good reasons for this concern – why?

  • You can’t see their full body language
  • It’s harder to see their facial expressions
  • It is harder for the host to create the same energy as a face-to-face meeting
  • The listeners are constantly receiving tempting texts and emails
  • It’s easier for your audience to lose concentration and get distracted
  • The listener’s environment holds less accountability

Have you ever wondered if you are the boring one in the virtual meeting? If you think this is the case then it probably means it’s true. On virtual calls, there is a much greater need to actively engage your audience and maintain that engagement! Check out our video “When they switch on don’t switch them off!” for more information on how to create engaging virtual presentations and calls.

ARE THEY NODDING OFF OR NODDING ALONG?

So, you have decided it’s time to consciously engage your team, but what does that look like? Simply Amazing Training offers a wide range of techniques that help to boost team energy levels (simple and advanced) However developed your virtual skillset is, we’ve got you covered!

Simple virtual engagement tips

  • Know when to open up the floor. If you’ve got over 3-4 people in a mixed group who don’t know one another and then you start opening the microphones, the non-speakers may be nodding off. Be aware of this and keep answers short or look to engage in other ways.
  • It’s not just about you. Think about the audience and what interactions they can be involved with along the way.
  • Let’s have a chat (box) Use the chatbox to engage with people, think about what questions you can ask that provokes thought or invites opinions.
  • Guide your team. Take control of how you want the audience to interact. Be really clear about what you want them to do, how to participate and when.
  • Collaboration creates fascination! Consider how you are going to get them involved in ‘shaping the story’ rather than appearing to be giving a lecture.

The global pandemic put a strain on team collaboration. Check out our video on easy ways to collaborate online with your team here.

Advanced virtual engagement techniques

  • Use whiteboards
  • Use tag questions to get people thinking
  • Use exercises to get people engaged
  • Utilise polls
  • Create and implement breakout rooms
  • Develop case studies to pull out key themes
  • Give them space to create some of their action plan in the call

These are to name just a few, for more information on how to implement these techniques effectively join our free virtual presenting taster webinar.

You must plan to actively engage your audience or suffer the consequences!

The great thing about creating engagement virtually is that interaction can and should be planned ahead of the meeting or presentation. We all know how the saying goes “planning prevents…poor performance”. The industry recommends planning a piece of engagement every 3-5 minutes. So, get planning and preparing to get the audience engaged and nodding along not nodding off! Virtual presentations are here to stay. For help mastering these and staying ahead of the curve take a look at our virtual presenting workshops to bring out your best.

P.S Next time you’re a participant in a virtual presentation/team call notice how easy it is for you to get distracted if you haven’t been consciously engaged in the content. If you did get distracted – now you know how important engagement is right?

If you know you want to improve your presentation skills but aren’t quite sure where to start, visit our page to help you choose the best next steps for you https://simplyamazingtraining.co.uk/choosing-the-right-training

Posted by Dee Clayton on 24 Feb 2021

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