Conducting workshops is an art by itself. One of the main elements that result in a successful workshop is audience engagement. As a host, you must hold your audience’s attention, make them participate and have fun, and at the same time understand the learn the subject matter easily. You need to hold on to high energy and covey the same to your audience.
You put your time and expertise to build the content for workshops and you must be confident about the subject matter. Delivering them in a structured and engaging way to the audience needs some practice.
With most workshops happening online, it’s tough to grab and retain the audience’s attention. If the workshop is not participatory in nature, you will lose the audience’s attention. With your presence just through a screen in online workshops, you need to compete with many distractions in the audience’s environment or switch their attention to other gadgets or something else.
So for every 5 – 10 minutes, you need to engage with your audience to hold their attention to the workshop; otherwise, it will turn out to be a boring sleepy lecture.
As a host, you should be highly organised on the day of the workshop. You need to check the presentations, resources, and gadgets. You should be ready to take your webinar without interruptions. Technical interruptions will shake the flow of the workshops and it will be hard to gain the audience’s attention once again.
With that, you need to present yourself most energetically. Your energy and enthusiasm should convey through your presence and body language. These two are the essential steps you need to prepare before starting your workshop.
In addition, we have listed five tips that will help you take your work in a participatory mode, and you can effortlessly engage with your audience.
Five tips for engaging with your audience in your workshop
Take it conversational
Have a conversational tone and style when delivering the content. It will help you build a deeper connection with the audience. Make sure you are conversing with the audience rather not at them. It can be the simplest nodding the head or raising hands, in regular short intervals, propose questions and ask your audience to react. You can also let your audience react in the chat section.
For example, if you put out a statement and question your audience if they agree with it or not. Ask the people who agree to type A and don’t agree to type NA in a chat session. Also, you can predict the answer of your audience’s reaction and react along with them. Like, if you say a joke laugh with your audience.
Polls and emoji meter
Polls and emoji metre are the two most fun and awesome features that you can integrate with your workshops. Throughout the workshop, you can ask questions and run polls to know your audience’s answers. It will also help you understand your audience and also allow the audience to understand their fellow attendees.
Emoji metre is a feature that allows the participants to react with emoticons in the hosting platforms. When asked a question or when something fun happens, or to appreciate, that can react through emojis. It will add fun to the workshop.
Though you have your presentation and make it visible to the audience during the webinar, it is highly advisable to provide a handout, resource sheet, or workbook in a pdf format. They can download it and work along with you.
If you create something on the whiteboard, they can create the same in their workbook. Some workshop hosting platforms allow the host and the audience to simultaneously use the whiteboard to co-create.
Gamify and breakout sessions
Games are always fun and energy boosters. So you can add a few games that are involving, interactive, improve competencies and build skills. Find games related to your topic as they will add fun and value at the same time.
Breakout sessions are also fun sessions that allow the audience to interact with their fellow attendees. The audience will the divided into groups to discuss or perform some activity. This will be a great networking opportunity and, at the same time, make the workshop highly engaging.
Numerous Q&A segments
It is good to have a Q&A segment at the end of every session of the workshop. You can’t pause the session in between to answer your audience’s doubts and queries, so it is better to have dedicated time to address the doubts.
Most workshops have only one Q&A segment at the end of the workshop, which is not appreciated. The audience can get carried away with the doubts and it can be a point of distraction if they need to wait for a long time to get their queries clarified.
Workshops are a lot about the experience it creates than just being a learning space. SO as a host, make your audience have a great experience by making the workshop a valuable, fun, entertaining and enriching experience.
At the end of the workshop, if you could build a solid relationship with your audience and gave a space for the audience to network and build relationships, your workshop was successful!
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