Audience interaction is an important part of presentations because it keeps your audience engaged and it also provides the speaker with important feedback. It’s important for presenters to look for creative ways to keep their audience engaged, on their toes, and to show them that you value their opinion and want to connect with them. Here are a few easy ways to get your audience members to respond in a way that fosters engagement and participation.
Ask for a Show of Hands
The first simple thing you can do is to ask your audience a series of questions and have them respond by raising their hands. For example, you could say “Raise your hand if you have ever…” This is a non-threatening way to get the audience to respond without making them feel like they have been put on the spot. If you do this early on in the presentation, they might be more willing to ask questions or respond out loud later in the presentation.
Small Group Discussion
Oftentimes individuals don’t want to speak on their own but they are more likely to do so if they are in a small group. Not only are small group discussions a great way to keep the audience engaged, but they make it easier to share ideas and respond to questions.
Use a Polling Tool
Polls are one of the best ways to interact with audiences and elicit responses. They encourage people to think critically about what they hear and urge them to share their own opinions. In addition to typical hand raising polls, technology can help make the process even more discreet. Audience members may not want to raise their hands in front of others but might be more apt to share their true feelings in a more discreet way. You can put a question on the screen and ask people to respond via their smartphone or tablet using a polling app. You can then collect the responses confidentially and in real time.
Turn to #Twitter
Twitter is another powerful and creative way to boost engagement and eilict audience responses during a presentation. You can do this by creating a unique hashtag for your presentation and keeping it visible throughout the talk. Encourage the audience to send tweets with that hashtag if they have questions or concerns. You can even project the conversation onto the screen so everyone can read the questions and comments.
Questions will always be a great way to get people talking during your presentation. You don’t have to wait until the end of your talk to allow for questions. Designate times within the talk to collect questions and responses from attendees.