What sets a lecture apart from a memorable presentation? If you ask many people, they would say it comes down to interaction! When the presenter interacts with an audience throughout the presentation, this benefits not only the audience, but the presenter too.
An audience that is called upon to participate or interact ends up being more engaged in the content of the presentation. That way, they come away with a more positive attitude about that presentation and the presenter themselves. Interactivity can also help audience members retain information so your presentation has more of an effect. It will also help you keep attendance rates up at your next presentation!
As for the different ways to interact with audience members during a presentation, there are several different strategies at your disposal.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
What’s more interactive than a Q&A session? Empower your audience to ask questions during your presentation with a live Q&A from Swift Polling. A Swift Q&A can be created and launched in just a few clicks. Before you know it, your audience can be asking questions. Or, you can turn the tables and ask your audience questions of your own. Either way, with this tool the questions are automatically collected, giving you real-time feedback. If audience members are reluctant to ask questions or speak up, you can also give them the option to ask or answer questions anonymously. That way, even the shyest audience members have a chance to be heard.
You really can’t have a discussion about interacting with an audience without including some mention of eye contact. While it seems like such a simple concept, it’s also one that’s missed by many presenters. And unfortunately, the consequences of skipping out on this tactic can be serious. When a presenter makes eye contact with different audience members throughout a presentation, it helps establish a bond. That audience member will feel more engaged and involved, as though they are part of a conversation. While it’s not always possible to make eye contact with every person in the audience, it is something that can be done with many people. In addition to making your audience feel more comfortable, it can also humanize your audience and help you feel less nervous during your presentation.
Who says a quiz can’t be fun? If you launch an online quiz for your audience to participate in, you are creating a unique interaction they won’t soon forget. For example, you could launch a quiz at the start of a presentation to test subject knowledge. By the end of the presentation, you can quiz again to see what they learned. Or, you can launch a quiz as an icebreaker using a general trivia question. With Quizzes Live by Swift Polling, quizzes are easy to create, launch, and customize. You can even share a real-time results leaderboard with your audience to encourage them to compete with one another.
Did you know a large portion of the population prefers visual learning rather than audio? If your presentation could stand to incorporate a visual element (most can!), why not try a word cloud? Ask your audience to submit their responses to a question or poll, then display the results on screen in the form of a word cloud. The word cloud will display the most common answers in the biggest bubble, with less common responses in smaller bubbles.
Not everyone in your audience will be eager to speak up. But based on their body language, most presenters can usually tell who would be up for having a discussion or answering a question from the presenter. When appropriate, call on certain audience members to contribute to your presentation. This piques the attention of all of your audience members, and it’s a great way to switch up the flow of the presentation.
Be sure to explore these different strategies for audience interaction to see which ones are most effective for your own presentations. Rather than standing still on stage talking to a bunch of blank faces, audience interaction can mean you are presenting to a crowd full of people who are hanging on your every word. Why not make your presentations the kind people remember for all the right reasons? Give these audience interaction ideas a try during your next presentation and that’s exactly what you can do.