If you’re like most people, you probably found yourself dozing off and not paying attention in at least a few events during your lifetime.
Whether the speaker was boring, or you were simply getting tired, the fact remains that audiences tend to lose their focus as the event goes on.
However, just because it’s understandable, doesn’t mean that as an event planner in the UK, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Presenting in front of an audience that’s tuning out what you’re saying is as good as useless, so you need to find ways to keep people on their toes and engaged throughout the entire event.
What’s more, you also need to make sure that your attendees are interested in your event in general.
But how can you achieve that? Well, the good news is that there are entertaining and extremely effective ways to grab and keep your audience’s attention throughout the entire event.
Let’s explore them below.
Take the Time to Answer Questions During the Speech
One of the biggest mistakes novice speakers make is trying to cram their entire prepared speech in one go, thinking that the longer they take, the less likely that anyone will still be listening by the end.
That’s a flawed approach because this type of non-stop speech will inevitably drive people away, if not literally, then at least figuratively, leaving them dozing off or looking at their smartphones.
Instead, you should view your audience as people with whom you’re having a conversation and encourage them to enhance your speech by asking questions or even providing their own input.
While it may seem scary to disrupt your speech in the middle, as it could throw you off, this will make your speech much more interesting to the listeners, as they will be more attentive knowing that they can participate and get their questions clarified.
So, whether you’re speaking yourself or organising an event where there will be speakers, make sure that there are at least a few Q&A sessions during the speech, as that can be a real game-changer for the entire event.
Ask Questions Before Revealing Answers
Another crucial tactic used by event management production companies is positioning the topics of lectures and speeches as answers to specific questions.
What that means is that the speech should revolve around a single main question which you should promise to answer – this will instantly make the event much more appealing, as people will know exactly what they are going to learn.
What’s more, since you frame it as a question, they will be more engaged since they will be actively trying to extract the answer from your speech, which can significantly improve the engagement.
To accomplish this step, simply have the speaker introduce the question at the beginning of the speech, going over its main aspects, and then start introducing the answer throughout the speech.
Today’s events world is ruled by technology and media – every event planner in the UK knows how important it is to utilise visual elements because, without them, it’s almost impossible to hold the attention of an audience for any length of time.
However, at the same time, if you get careless with using technology at your events, you could also find that you’d be driving attention away from the main focus of your event, which is the speakers, the products, and your brand.
Therefore, when using technology, it’s essential to use it in a way that enhances what you’re trying to do.
For instance, if you’re using virtual reality, you should think about how the experience may tie in with your brand or your event’s message because otherwise, the VR experience will serve as little more than a distraction.
You could also use technology and media to enhance the speeches and lectures. Whether it’s using a screen and audio to illustrate points or show examples, or even a neat trick to draw and keep attention of the audience, the excitement that comes with technology can be very useful at helping get those oohs and aahs from the audience that every speaker needs to keep listeners alert.
People love to compete in a friendly atmosphere, and they love to get things, especially if they win them.
That’s why using contests is one of the most brilliant and exciting ways to drive event engagement and captivate your audience throughout the entire event.
However, to make the most out of the experience, you should make sure that you challenge the attendees in a way that relates to your event because otherwise, the entire process will be little more than a lottery and won’t keep the guests focused on your program.
But what types of contests could you hold?
Well, for instance, if you’re having lots of activities or speeches and want to keep attendance high, you could gamify the attendance by having an interactive leader board that updates the attendance stats for attendees in real time.
People would have to check-in at a lecture or activity and get points for participating, and the ones who manage to come to the most activities or speeches could be rewarded at the end.
If you feel that the attendance of specific parts of your program is lacking, this is a great way to ensure that more people join in.
Another clever idea if you want to hold people’s attention during the lectures of presentations themselves is to hold a trivia contest at the end.
Basically, after you finish your presentation, you should prepare questions for the audience to answer about the topics you were talking about, and reward those that get the most answers right.
If you announce that there will be a trivia contest at the end of the gathering and that the person who answers the most questions gets a prize, you can be sure that the vast majority of people attending will pay attention to every word that the speaker says, eagerly awaiting for the time when they’ll have the opportunity to prove that they were listening throughout.
As an event management production company, you sometimes have to think out of the box when trying to keep people engaged, but luckily, even simple ideas like these are often more than enough to generate the results that you want.