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7 Successful Audience Interaction Techniques

Mayra Gomes
May 30, 2018
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Having one person in your audience or thousands, won’t matter if you can’t get your audience engaged. Whether it’s an online or an in-person presentation, audience engagement must be your number one priority. It creates a connection between you and your audience, which leads to trust, then sales or partnerships and so on. With the right audience interaction techniques, you will be able to increase your audience’s engagement.

For this blog post, we’ve put together seven successful audience interaction techniques that can be applied to online live presentations, as well as in-person events. Since each presentation and audience is different, it’s important to take your audience into account and find out the techniques they respond to the best.


Live Video Interaction

During live streams or any online live event, interacting with viewers plays a massive role in the overall success of your broadcast. Getting viewers engaged with your live online presentation will keep them watching your stream for longer. That’s huge for the online scenario because, unlike in-person presentations, it’s so easy for people to leave.

The upside of online events is that it’s easier to get the viewers to participate, considering how easy it’s to type a few words in the chat box and hit send. Taking advantage of that is vital. In-person events, on the other hand, require a bit more work to get people to join the conversation because participants usually are more reluctant to speak up. The audience interaction techniques below can be applied to both scenarios and help you achieve the results you want.

Whenever you’re preparing a presentation, make sure you put the audience first. Think about these differences mentioned above and any other difference worth considering. Also, think about your audience, who are they, why are they there, what are they expecting to gain. The more specific you get about the participants, the easier it will be to apply these audience interaction techniques below.


7 successful audience interaction techniques

Show of hands (literally and figuratively)

During an in-person event, the show of hands is a practical way to learn more about your audience, and they learn more about where they stand in relation to others. It gets people engaged without overexposing them, which is essential at the beginning of a presentation. Remember to ask broad questions to make sure enough people will raise their hands. Something as simple as “Show of hands, who here has ever thought about traveling abroad?”

On live broadcasts, you can do the same thing, except you might want to tell viewers what to type in the chat box. This interaction technique will make it easier for you to read the responses at a glance. It would be something like this “Type YES in the chat box if you’ve ever considered traveling abroad.”


With the show of hands technique, you can also create polls during in-person events. It helps you get to know your audience better. Instead of asking people to raise their hands, you can also use services (apps) that allow you to create online live polls. So, you will collect some more accurate data about them, and you can adapt your next presentation according to your audience’s preferences.

For online events, you can also use the comment section and gather the information later, as well hashtags or even apps. Though, if your viewers are watching on their phones, it might not be a good strategy to get them to go to a different platform. They might not come back. It’s a matter of testing what works best for your audience and optimizing from there.  

Storytelling & Personal Inputs

Encourage your audience to share their experiences. In live events, check if there will be microphones at the venue, to make sure that’s possible. When you get people’s input, it can resonate with others in the audience and enrich everyone’s experience.

Same goes for online events, but since it’s in text form, you might want to read a couple of the comments out loud, so everyone shares the experience. They should be brief and specific, so make sure you ask the right questions.

Inclusive questions

Ask simple questions that most audience member can respond to. Using general questions will ensure your audience feels included, comfortable and competent. If you put people on the spot and ask them hard questions, they might feel embarrassed and lose interest.

With that in mind, it’s also better to avoid superlative when formulating questions. Asking something like “Tell us about the best place you’ve ever visited,” it pressures them to share a fantastic story. While saying “Tell us about a place you’d like to visit,” it’s more accessible for everyone.


Just as important as asking the right questions to the audience, is to give them the opportunity to ask you questions. Encourage people to ask questions because it will increase the connection between you. If it’s a live event, remember to check the equipment and focus on different areas of the audience, so everyone feels appreciated.

This particular audience interaction technique requires you to go a bit further online. Even if you don’t have time to reply to all the questions during your live broadcast, you should answer them later. In the comment section, you can go through the comments and respond to each viewer. It will make them feel appreciated and deepen the connection.

Encourage participation: Giveaways

If you want to make sure people will interact with you during your presentation and that they will stay engaged until the end, you can offer them giveaways and prizes. For example, online, you can provide a gift to the most participative viewer, as well as something for the most liked question and so on. Remember to mention at the beginning of the broadcast and give at the end.

During in-person events, you can have branded giveaways for everyone that participates, and it can be distributed during the presentation. It will motivate others to join in because everyone loves free stuff. If you don’t have any giveaways, make sure you recognize the participants’ contribution and give them a shout out.

Interaction beyond the auditorium

To expand participation and grow your audience, you can take interaction beyond the “auditorium.” Create tweetable moments and hashtags during the online or in-person event and push people to share it on their social media. It will help them get more engaged with you and your content, and you get free publicity on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms.


Key Takeaway

Asking the right questions and getting your audience engaged will have an amazing impact on your presentation. For your next live event, online or in-person, don’t forget to focus on your audience and apply these audience interaction techniques. Getting to know your audience will allow you to create a connection with them. Connection leads to trust. Whatever your goal is – sales, education, change, motivation – you need to build trust to achieve a successful presentation.





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