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The Key to Engaging Video Conferences
Video conferences and zoom calls have become the new norm in quarantine. We no longer have the ability to sit next to our colleagues and our peers, so we can no longer make eye contact and engage with the speaker. It can be hard to know that everyone is listening to what the speaker is saying.
Through our laptops, it is easy for us to find distractions. We have other people living at home while we work, or we have other pieces of technology that are grabbing our attention. It has become increasingly harder to give our complete attention to a virtual video conference. Here are some of the best tips that we found to keep not only the audience but the speaker engaged while on a virtual video conference.
Content, content, content
The best way to engage your audience in a virtual meeting is to have relevant and interesting content. Because it is so much harder to keep everyone’s attention on the video conference, you need to have content that will keep everyone interested. Whether that’s displaying a quote that sticks to the theme of the meeting, or an interactive video, the content needs to be relevant and fun.
One of the best ways to keep people engaged by speaking is to tell a story. Whether that’s a personal story or a universal story, people can always connect to and will be engaged with stories. Higher levels of personal storytelling will make the audience feel connected.
What are their intentions?
As a speaker for a virtual conference, it can be easy to lose sight of the initial intention. Ask yourself as the speaker, “why are people joining this conference?” and “what valuable information can I give to these listeners?”. When preparing your presentation, keep your intentions salient.
Not only is it important for the speaker to understand the intentions of the conference, but if you are the listener of this conference it is also your responsibility. You should be asking yourself, “what will I take away from this conference?” before joining. Keeping this intention in mind will increase your engagement to listen to and understand the content to gain valuable information.
When hosting a virtual video conference, it’s extremely important to keep people engaged. One of the best ways to keep people engaged and think critically is to put people into separate virtual breakout rooms within the video conference. Either give the groups the same or different topics to discuss and later rejoin as a larger group and share your insights. Not only will this keep everyone engaged, but this will ensure that other people are interacting with one another that they may not have known before the breakout group. It will also increase the ability to think critically to obtain information.
The virtual event, real food
One of the best ways to keep a virtual event interesting is to send the listeners a little gift or food that they can enjoy while listening to the event. A little souvenir is a great way for people to appreciate the time and energy that went into organizing the virtual event and it keeps them engaged. People love incentives, that’s pretty clear, so incentivizing your audience to stay engaged will produce a much better outcome.
Keep it short and sweet
It can be easy to get carried away speaking at a video conference, especially when you’re passionate about the subject. Unfortunately, it can be hard to keep everyone’s attention after a long period, so it is crucial to keep the conference short and sweet. One of the best ways to think about your timing as a speaker and a conference are these three principles. Be bright, be brief, be gone.
This is a great rule to live because you want to give the most accurate information, talk to people that are listening, and aren’t getting distracted, and once you leave on a good note people will be discussing what a great job you did at speaking.
So next time you were at a virtual video conference or the next time you are in a company meeting, keep these tips in mind. It’s extremely beneficial not only for the speaker but the listener to understand how video conferences can increase engagement and pleasure while learning.