Best Ways to Engage a Conference Audience

The best conference presentations are the ones where the audience becomes invested and engaged in what the speaker has to say. If you’re giving a presentation you will no doubt want to achieve a connection with your listeners, so here are the best ways to make that happen.

Engage them before you start

One great way to enjoy a conference presentation with an engaged audience is if you’ve already done some of the ground work before they even arrive. A little while before the conference you should start releasing a few little teasers of what people can expect to learn from your presentation. Not enough that they get the information without coming to see you – just the right amount to make them turn up in anticipation of finding out what you have to say. If your audience is already enthusiastic about your presentation, it’s more likely to go well.

Be funny

Even if your presentation is on a fairly dry subject there’s no reason that it should be boring. Have some fun with the audience – tell a few jokes and keep the talk light hearted. This is especially true if your presentation is later in the day; people who have been at a conference for a long time won’t be in the mood to listen diligently through a serious talk so give them a reason to engage with you.

Include audience participation

A direct way to get your audience engaged with the topic is to have them participate in your talk. One way to do this is through an audience response system (ARS) – this is an electric voting pad that collects responses from a group all at the same time. Rather than relying on an inaccurate show of hands or trying to take responses individually, you could impress your audience by including their feedback in your own presentation.

Tell your conference a story

People love listening to stories – so tell them yours. No matter what your presentation is about you’ll have a story to tell from your experiences and your audience will enjoy listening to it far more than a lecture.

Post-event survey

Here’s a second chance to make use of an ARS at the conference. After your presentation is over you can invite people to take a post-event survey. Not only is this a great chance to reinforce what you talked about but it’s also a great opportunity to collect contact details. It’s much quicker using an ARS than a traditional pen-and-paper survey too.