Attendee engagement is hard. Trust us, we know! That’s why we have come up with the top 5 don’ts for when trying to engage your audience.
1. Don’t make them read! Attendees may not be able to see the forest for the trees if there's an overload of lengthy text on each slide. Keep your points short and simple, include visual aids, and free up your attendees' minds to ask questions and really engage in the conversation.
2. Don’t bore them to death! Nothing puts a crowd to sleep faster, or sends them running to their Facebook and Twitter pages for a distraction, than a presenter that's reading their presentation slides word for word. Your attendees are smart people, so let them do the reading! Use your slides as a guide but feel free to expand on topics or skip ones that aren't that important.
3. Don’t leave them hangin! Ok, you gave an amazing presentation. Now your attendees want to know more! Give them a way to contact you in the future or find out about your latest product or service. Also, be sure to give them a ‘take away’ from your presentation just in case they weren’t paying attention. They should at least know the most important idea you are conveying and any action items that should be considered.
4. Don’t lack eye contact! Eye contact can be a difficult thing to make when you are nervous, but it’s even more awkward when someone is not making it. Take a deep breath and look your attendees in the eye. They will be thankful for it and, in turn, participate more in your presentation.
5. Don’t leave them without a voice! Don’t assume that your attendees know everything. They will likely have questions so don’t leave them without a means to ask them! Use 2Shoes instead of a microphone, or paper and pencil, as a way to seamlessly see what questions your attendees have. This is also a great way to manage ‘mic hogs’ and engage shy attendees that wouldn’t normally ask a question.