This will come as no surprise, but the biggest side-effect of this technology-driven world is our continually decreasing attention spans. A study done by Microsoft in 2018 revealed that the average human has an attention span of eight seconds. Because of this, interactive virtual events are becoming increasingly important. Virtual presenters must accommodate for this short attention span by creating an engaging environment for audience members. Here are 6 tips for increasing the interactivity of your virtual events.
1. Pre-Record Your Virtual Event
Recording your keynote before an event allows for editing to ensure dead time and lagging have been eliminated. Being able to re-watch a recording before the event gives the host the ability to ensure the quality of the video is satisfactory.
2. Drive Engagement: Ask Questions
If you decide to go the live route, incorporating questions or polls into your virtual event can be an effective way to engage listeners. Polling or Q&A sessions functionality can be incorporated on most social media platforms. Utilizing Instagram story question boxes or polls, Twitter’s long response format for questions, or comments under Facebook posts can boost brand awareness and increase social media followings while also keeping audience members engaged in your material. Creating unique social media hashtags and live tweeting the event are great ways for people to follow and engage with an event happening in real time. For audience members who aren’t as active on social media, chat rooms and pop-up polls can also be useful tools for interactive virtual events.
3. Choose an Interesting Backdrop
Adding a creative backdrop or setting yourself up in a space with a nice background is a fun way to spice up your presentation and hold your audience’s attention. The key is to find one that is interesting but not too distracting. Company logos, geographic locations, and famous movie sets are possible options to increase viewer engagement.
4. Incorporate Tools That Allow Your Audience to Interact with One Another
Playing games and incorporating breakout sessions are two great ways to allow your audience members to engage with each other and the information in your keynote. Most virtual event platforms allow for the division of participants into separate rooms where they can discuss the material that has been presented to them. These breakout sessions allow for a deeper engagement with the information and create a sense of togetherness between participants. With screen sharing capabilities, it is possible to use websites such as PollEverywhere or Bingo during presentations.
5. Be Visually Engaging
A visually engaging presentation is much more likely to hold your viewers attention. Real-time drawings that occur while you are speaking is a great way to keep your audience members involved. It also guides your audience members towards a better understanding of the material. Props, such as videos or themed clothing, are another visual enhancer that could be used. Introducing an unexpected prop creates an element of surprise that could help to enhance an audience member’s experience and increase engagement.
6. Keep it Short!
The easiest way to ensure an interactive virtual event is to keep your presentation brief. Even if you are giving the world’s most brilliant presentation, a longer talk will increase lost interest. This leads you to say only what is necessary and eliminate all non-essential aspects of the presentation. In addition to keeping it short, using emotional language and storytelling techniques, such as anecdotes, can help you keep listeners engaged.
As virtual events continue to become more prevalent, using the tools and strategies mentioned can help keep audience members engaged. Pre-recording, asking questions, choosing a relevant background, and using tools or visual enhancers are all great resources to create an interactive virtual event.
If you’re looking for more virtual event resources to drive success, check out tips for improving the viewing experience, the do’s and don’ts of hosting a virtual event or any of our many other virtual event resources.