Top tip for engaging your audience virtually

I’d like to share my top tip for engaging your audience virtually.

The other day I gave a virtual speech (about the mindsets needed to get through big challenges) for a senior leadership event in Europe. The other 3 external speakers were very impressive people (military leaders and so on) – so much more impressive than me!

But I was afterwards told by the organiser that my session was especially well-received because I had simply engaged the audience more (the other speakers felt more like lectures, they said).

A good rule of thumb that virtual speaking expert Joshua Davies taught me in my early virtual days, is vital. It is:

At least once every 5 minutes, make sure you ask the audience to DO SOMETHING!!

It could be:

– A quick poll

– A chatbox question (engage with their answers – “Good point, Rob” etc)

– A breakout room to discuss a question

– Asking everyone to go to gallery view and then hold up a piece of paper with an answer on it

If people are engaged, they will learn more and enjoy more!

Final tips:

– Start your talk with engagements that are non-threatening -e.g an easy poll (see my example below), and then gradually build to more challenging things

– Also engage by varying your media (images, videos, etc)

– Make sure you practice your engagements (with a colleague on another computer) before the real thing.