How Speakers Can Actively Engage Audiences and Encourage Attendee Participation

How Speakers Can Actively Engage Audiences and Encourage Attendee Participation

It is a standard format at meetings and events where there is a corporate speaker or company CEO; they speak, the audience listens and at the end they encourage attendees to ask questions.  How many people have attended a meeting or conference and so desperately wanted to ask a question at the end, but not had the courage to speak out in front of hundreds of colleagues?  The seconds tick by and the palpable silence is uncomfortable.  No one wants to ask a question, despite wanting to.

Event planners could utilise a number of methods to help improve audience participation, as well as make the speaker presentation more interactive and engaging.  With the use of technology, Scarlett Entertainment has compiled a top five list of ways that speakers at corporate events can interact with audiences:-

Utilise Tech

Provide your audience with technology in order to ask questions.  Hand out iPads or other devices on arrival and instruct attendees on how they can use it to ask questions of the speaker during the event.  This will really encourage your audience to participate.

Plant a Speaker

A speaker assistant placed in the front row could encourage the audience to get involved by making comments or asking questions during the event.  Getting the assistant to check what the audience is saying or asking on a device would allow them to broach important topics and ask relevant or interesting questions of the speaker.  The perfect was to actively engage audience members and get them involved.


Speakers can involve attendees by getting the audience to vote on a poll of relevant topics before, during or after the event.  A screen on stage can be used to display results in real time as attendees cast their votes.  A great way to make your guests feel that they are a part of the event.

Draw it Out

Use a giant graffiti board on stage for attendees to create, inspire and generate ideas during the question and answer session.  The audience may feel shy about standing up in front of a crowd and asking a question, but getting them to draw or write what’s on their mind will add a unique element to the event and actively engage attendees.

Make it a Quiz

Everyone loves a quiz.  The same principle as using a device to conduct a poll, but how about creating an exciting quiz during the presentation to get attendees interacting?  Attendees could even be spilt in to groups if you want to give it a competitive element!

Scarlett Entertainment has a speaker division and represents some of the top corporate event speakers around the world; from successful entrepreneurs and sports personalities to explorers and celebrities.  Contact a member of the Scarlett Entertainment team today to find out more about booking a speaker for your next conference, meeting or team building event.

__By Beki Polding

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