What are Some Creative Ways to Engage an Audience?

One of the biggest challenges that presenters face is the ability to captivate their audience and leave a lasting impression. Oftentimes, presentations are thought of as one-way communication, whereas the speaker simply delivers material to the audience. Other presenters are great speakers, but they lack the ability to connect with their audience. In order to deliver a presentation that is powerful and memorable, you must find a way to engage your audience. Here are some creative ideas for interacting with and engaging the audience in your next presentation.

Host an Experts Panel
There is nothing wrong with the traditional Q&A session, but if you want to shake things up a bit consider inviting a panel of experts to your presentation. You can give audience members the chance to jot down some questions ahead of time or you can invite them to ask questions live during the presentation. Inviting a group of experts who are well-equipped to answer questions is a great way to keep your audience’s attention while providing them with excellent information and feedback.

Poll the Audience
Sure, you can keep it old school by asking for a show of hands, but these days technology makes it possible to poll audience members and collect information in a more engaging way. There are a variety of apps such as DirectPoll, PollEverywhere, Mentimeter, Swipe, and Ask the Room that allow you to conduct a live poll during your presentation. These live polls let your audience become part of the presentation while giving you important feedback in real time.

Set Up a Demonstration
Demonstrations work great when you are trying to pitch a product or service. You can do a simple demonstration and invite an audience member to come up and participate. Not only do demonstrations allow your audience members to see firsthand why your product or service is beneficial, but it keeps your audience engaged and interested in the presentation.

Play a Game
There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun during a presentation. To help your audience remember what you talked about, conduct a game show or quiz complete with give away prizes. There are plenty of game-show style apps and software programs that make this more interactive with audiences. This activity allows you to turn an ordinary presentation into something fun, memorable, and entertaining and it boosts your audience’s participation and attention.

Divide into Small Groups
Another great way to engage your audience is to divide them into small groups for discussion or games. Physical activity during a presentation will boost audience attention and small group discussion encourage audience participation.

Tweet Questions and Comments
In an age where just about everyone has a cell phone in their pocket, you are constantly in competition for your audience’s attention. Instead of fighting cell phones, give your audience a reason to use them. Encourage them to tweet questions or comments throughout the presentation using your unique presentation hashtag and address these questions live. This is a great way to give people who might otherwise be too shy to speak up a chance to ask questions.