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Audience Engagement: Top Strategies from Industry Leaders (Part 1)

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The truth is, virtually every business uses audience engagement strategies in one form or another. Depending on your specific industry, the strategies you use will vary. For some, a town hall or live Q&A is the right way to connect and engage with your audience/customers/fans, you name it. 

Audience Engagement Strategies from Industry Leaders

But today, we’re going to hear from industry leaders whose experience is all over the map in terms of how and why they need to engage an audience. We’ll find out which strategies work best for them and how you can begin to employ these same strategies for your own business!

Boosting Audience Engagement

Engaging an audience takes work. If you’re struggling to energize your audience and involve them in presentations, conferences, and seminars, give one of these three strategies from Jessica Lipton, founder of Elevate Delta 8 a try.

Short and sweet: “In the age of short attention spans, it’s not easy to maintain an audience’s attention for hour-long sessions but I believe that it’s much easier to capture and maintain in shorter time spans. By making your presentation concise and informative, you’ll likely have an easier time engaging the audience as they won’t feel the urge to constantly check their phones or chat with each other. I recommend keeping presentations under 20 minutes, focusing on a strong opener, and nailing your transitions by practicing them extensively.”

Mirroring: “Build your rapport in the eyes of the audience subconsciously by mirroring their tone, body language, and the words that they use. Notice how they’re sitting, how they’re talking, their facial expressions, and everything else that can give you a glimpse into who they are. Mirroring is a powerful persuasion tool that works at a subconscious level and can help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.”

Get the juices flowing: “Research suggests that audiences only pay attention for close to 8 minutes at a time. This is why every few minutes or so, I ask members of the

audience to do a light exercise with me such as by simply sitting up and back down a few times or by walking around the room in a conga line with me leading the way. It’s fun and kills some of the boredom which almost always keeps the audience engaged and entertained.”

Q&A Periods

Several of the industry leaders we talked to included audience Q&As as part of their audience engagement strategy. This is great news to us at Swift Polling! One of our favorite things is helping get our clients set up with our live Q&A software so they can discover just how easy it is. 

Breaking Down Barriers

Here’s what Andre Kazimierski, the CEO of Improovy shares:

“I love doing Q&As for audience engagement – it is a great way to both break down the barrier of communication through screens and actually help our customers/potential customers. People are much more likely to remain engaged if they are waiting for their question to be asked or are having a dialogue with us. During any live streams we do, we will often offer small incentives or prizes to random people for asking questions or engaging with us. This keeps people on their toes, especially if they know they might win something!”

Creating a Dialogue

Brian Donovan, the CEO of Timeshatter also shares: “I have found that Q&A’s are the most effective audience engagement strategy. It creates dialogue between my company and our customers, and it makes connections more personal. Even if people don’t have any hard-hitting questions to ask, they will usually think of something to ask simply because they want the experience of being responded to and personally taken care of.”

Find Out What Your Audience is Thinking

Finally, on the subject of Q&As for audience engagement, Megha Gadke, founder of KetoConnect, shares:

“My favorite engagement strategy for both live and virtual events is live polling and Q&A. I’m pretty sure this is true for most business leaders and event producers. Asking questions and getting immediate feedback during an event is a fantastic way to engage the audience, test assumptions, and determine what they think about a given topic or idea. It’s common for business leaders to ask questions, but rarely do they seek true feedback from their audiences.

In my opinion, this type of audience engagement is even more important in virtual and live webinars than it is for live events because you can’t see the audience. Live polling allows the speaker/presenter to quickly gauge how well they are engaging the audience along with getting additional insight into what they are thinking about the topic at hand.

During our recent live event, the presenter began by asking one of my favorite open-ended questions in live polling, “What are you doing right now?” This question alone generated over 800 responses, which was fascinating to see.”

Stay tuned for the second part of this series where we dig even deeper into the audience engagement strategies industry leaders use!

 

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