By Scott Casey
To win over conference attendees of today, organizers must do more than secure presenters to fill specific topical areas. In today’s digital age, the answers to most questions lay at the tips of our fingers. Understanding how to process, adapt and apply information, however, cannot be learned through a simple Google search. Conference organizers must work proactively with keynote speakers to design each session in such a way that it sparks connected thinking patterns and realizations within attendees. The ultimate goal of the keynote speaker should be to open the eyes of everyone in the audience to new possibilities and opportunities.
It’s a two-way street
The most standout speakers of our time are known for engaging attendees in what feels like a two-way conversation. They don’t stop at simply sharing new information. To capture and hold the attention of attendees, they break the wall between themselves and the audience. They ask pointed questions in order to tap into the needs of participants, and then add context and depth to their input. They use interactive polls and role playing scenarios to engross attendees in collaborative learning, and provide evidence of new ways of thinking and doing. In doing these things, standout keynote speakers engage their audience with conversational presenting.
Unlocking conversational presenting
Open-ended questions, polls and scenario exercises can be facilitated with live audience response technology. With conversational presenting, higher level thinking and social learning are encouraged.
The questions that a keynote speaker poses should be clear, and phrased in such a way that most audience members can respond. Questions that ask for a best or worst case scenario or experience are often not inclusive enough. The best way to ensure that a question is neither too complex nor mundane is for keynote speakers to test them out on their colleagues. In doing this, they will also be forced to contemplate the types of responses they’ll receive, and map out how audience input can enhance their key learning objectives.
As a conference organizer, the fate of your event lies largely in the hands of your speakers. An incredible keynote can propel your conference to being the talk of the industry. With the right tools and delivery techniques, your keynote speakers can leave your conference attendees impressed, inspired, and poised to unlock new opportunities. Learn how live audience response technology can be used for conversational presenting.
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