Audience-Centric Content: How to Boost Engagement and Impact
As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic forced many in-person events to go virtual. While platforms like Zoom made the transition possible, “Zoom fatigue” quickly set in. Audiences have tuned out of long presentations and passive learning formats that are also typical of in-person conferences.
To combat Zoom fatigue, virtual event organizers need to completely rethink their approach. So to get some ideas on how to do this, I spoke with Chris Elmitt, an expert facilitator and CEO of the virtual event platform Livve, to get his tips on engaging audiences in the virtual environment.
As Chris notes, virtual platforms also have their limitations. “It’s more boring being in a virtual meeting than in a face-to-face meeting,” he says. With less social pressure to remain focused, audiences can easily check out. To keep audience attention, break content into smaller chunks, limit speaker monologues to 9 minutes maximum, and structure overall sessions to 30 minutes or less.
- Design virtual events for shorter attention spans – content should be in small chunks rather than long monologues. Keep presentations under 9 minutes.
- Don’t expect networking to happen organically in virtual events. Intentionally build in discussion activities.
- Leverage the convenience of virtual events by spacing out content over multiple shorter sessions vs one long session.
- Have presenters share information through dialogue and conversation rather than PowerPoint slides.
- Let the audience choose topics on the fly that they want to be covered rather than sticking to a pre-planned agenda. I love StreamAlive for this.
- Take advantage of simple equipment like mics and lighting to improve the audio and video quality for virtual presenters.
- Rethink presentation style for the realities of virtual events rather than transposing what works for in-person events.
Connect with Chris
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