Let’s be honest, at one point or another, you’ve probably worn sweatpants to an online meeting or presentation (it’s okay, we’ve done it too).
And while the added comfort and flexibility that those virtual meetings bring are certainly nice, it’s also easier to tune out or get distracted when you’re staring at a screen. A key way to combat this is by ensuring your audience is entertained and involved with whatever it is you’re presenting.
That’s why we’ve whipped up a list of ways to make your virtual meetings and presentations more interactive and compelling for your audience, sweatpants or no.
Make Use of Interactive Features
One of the easiest traps to fall into when presenting online is to simply boot up your meeting software, say what you need to say and sign off.
For a surefire way to spice up your meetings/presentations, make use of the tools provided to you by whatever application you’re using. For example, Zoom allows participants to chat with one another and enables you to run polls and breakout rooms. It even lets everyone draw and write on the same screen via its Whiteboard feature.
Zoom isn’t the only platform with built-in features, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the offerings of your meeting application and make the most of them.
Include Videos, Images and More
It’s no secret that people respond better to a variety of stimuli instead of, say, just text.
Music and audio tracks will engage those who lean towards being auditory learners, whereas images and graphs satisfy visual learners. And videos do both!
If you can embed occasional videos, photos, graphs, music and even memes, your audience will thank you for it.
Who doesn’t love a little healthy competition?
By implementing topical quizzes or questionnaires, you give your audience a more interesting way to engage with your content. For example, you can structure questions like, “What major client did we just acquire?” or “In which demographic did our content perform the strongest in last month?” You can also offer small prizes or even simply recognition to the winners of these quizzes. Gotta love having office bragging rights.
Whether you include your questions on a slide and have participants answer through chat, or you make use of third-party software like Kahoot or Quiz Maker, adding a quizzical element to your presentations is sure to get people more involved.
Consider Breakout Rooms
While we touched on breakout rooms above, we want to mention them again here. While they’re not for everyone, breakout rooms can transform a large meeting into several smaller, more interactive ones.
This means you can get participants far more involved than they otherwise would be. You can set room leaders and have them lead their groups in exercises or discussions, assign each room a different task and have them all merge their ideas in the main meeting, or even just have group members chat and connect with one another.
Just be sure that you’re providing your rooms with enough to do and making sure they’re able to get going. It’s always awkward to be in a group of silent people, staring at a screen and waiting for instruction.
Take It Beyond the Presentation
Particularly for presentations and other virtual events, giving participants something to engage with outside of the presentation content is a great way to get them involved.
Generate some buzz on social media by having attendees post and discuss using specific hashtags and content feeds. Provide participants with virtual swag like custom backgrounds that they can download beforehand and use during the event. Direct them to external content that furthers your message and encourage them to learn more about what it is you do.
Enabling your audience to engage beyond your presentation is a great way to make sure your messaging sticks with them even after they’ve logged off.
If you can make use of any or all of these tips, you’ll be sure to end up with virtual meetings and presentations that stand out from the crowd.