As we continue forward in this time of virtual meetings, we are learning more and more ways to do it right and ensure a valuable experience for attendees. Here are some items to consider when it comes to content:
It all started with TED: The epitome of a well-crafted talk these days points to TED Talks; those 18-minute or less talks that take us on a journey of discovery. One-hour talks are too long for virtual events, less is definitely more.
Consider facilitating: Though your speakers may be well seasoned, they may not feel comfortable cutting their talk down. This is where a speaking coach can come in handy. Coaches work with the speakers to help them draw out the best of their presentations and take out all the fluff. The end result will be a talk, where every word is important and the audience stays engaged.
Shake it Up: One 20-minute talk after another will get old. Offer some 5-minute talks, Q&A sessions, interviews, even some lighter, more entertaining fare.
Take Breaks: Make sure you allow for breaks. There is the possibility that your audience may not come back, so include reasons for them to come back; highlight special talks coming up, share a few tidbits about the valuable content coming their way and talk up what they can expect to learn or gain by coming back.
Provide Content for the Breaks: Bring in a mindfulness expert to take your audience through a meditation, have a trainer show simple exercises to do throughout the computer-bound day, or bring in an expert to show how to avoid screen fatigue. These are examples of value-add information for an audience that is on Zoom calls all week long.
Encourage Participation: Allow audience members to take surveys in real time with an app like Mentimeter.
Chat It Up: Some meetings software allows for chat so participants can ask questions and share their thoughts during the event. During breaks, audience members can get to know each other and have discussions about the event and speakers. Better yet, facilitate the break by including a slide show of fun questions that participants can answer, have them all say where they are from, ask for their opinions on future content, etc.
All of this will go a long way in creating an amazing experience for your audience. But all of it will fall flat if your technology is wonky. Next blog we’ll share how to produce a virtual panel of experts discussion.