Improve the experience and everybody wins.
Shifting the energy in the room
So you have been preparing for weeks, you’ve rehearsed, researched, promoted this fabulous conference or event and it’s time to do what you do best as a Keynote Speaker and walk on stage to deliver your message.
One of the first thing I love to do as I walk, or should I say, I dance on stage, is shifting the energy of the room. The majority of the time, the audience have been seating on their chairs for a few hours, so getting them engaged as soon as possible is important for you to connect and get them to pay attention so you can really make an impact on them.
There are several actions you could do to grab their attention; the first few seconds are key whether you make them laugh, cry, dance, hi 5, shock them or shack them it will shift their energy and will boost yours.
Measuring your audience experience, as a public speaker, before, during and after, is a valuable insights into the success of an event. For the event producers, the more engagement, the better ROI. For you as the speaker, you want to know what worked, what didn’t, the areas for improvement which can be used to optimize future events.
Things you could do during the event to keep the engagement high could be:
- Live is live polling: something like Mentimeter or slido is a great way to gauge audience engagement, you can create polls or quizzes that attendees can respond to in real-time. This can encourage attendees to actively participate in the session and give speakers feedback on how well they are engaging the audience.
- Ask or respond to questions: ask questions during out right to the audience during your talk, or you could be encouraging the audience to submit questions beforehand. If you have access to the audience event via the organisors before, assess them with a couple of questions so you can tailor your presentation to better meet their needs.
- Check out social media, of course, social media monitoring is a great way to measure both the audience experience and engagement. Share your social media on your slides, so you can be sure the audience tag you and use a personal hashtag and the conference hashtags to see what attendees are saying about the event, before, during and after. This can also give you an idea of what topics are resonating with the audience.
- Send out a post-event survey to gather feedback from attendees on their engagement with the conference. Ask the attendees about the sessions, a couple of words which made an impact on them, what they may have wanted to see for another time. Do this for the audience, for the event organisors, you have to make sure you are doing a post-event call
Analysing and looking at metrics, for a professional speaker, such as the number of attendees, the number of questions asked during Q&A sessions, the number of people who participated in live polling, and the duration of time attendees spent at the conference, the social media tags, and tracking those numbers to use in future marketing strategy, positioning and content to determine what changes you could be making to increase engagement in future events.