In audience engagementaudience pollingVOA by Stephanie GonawelaJuly 6, 20170 Comments

When you look at the world around, there are so many things that take place daily – be it discoveries, progressive technologies, natural disasters or merely an activity that can have a negative or positive impact in our lives. I can certainly relate to it. I recently left my phone behind in a taxi I took a ride in.

Luckily, because it uses a tracking mechanism that has details of the trip, the driver and what not, I was able to connect with him to get my phone back (phew!). Progressive technologies have helped us take 10 steps ahead and made our lives easier because we are able to voice out our feelings (opinions/problems/solutions) instantly.

In the good old days, do you recall the times that you possibly watched a horrific (or terrific) news segment and felt something about it? Sadly, this perception or feeling you had could only be shared with the people you hung out with, at that point in time. Now, times have changed and we have social media to witness a silver lining. With a digitally empowered world revolving around social media as one key aspect, it has changed the way we voice out how we feel individually or collectively. Obviously, it’s not as rosy as it seems. Like everything else, digitally empowered obviously has its pros and cons. But, if you consider the good that can come out of it, I think you’d be a pretty good state none the less. And, even if we aren’t we can always improve things along the way.

Like everything else, digitally empowered obviously has its pros and cons. But, if you consider the good that can come out of it, I think you’d be a pretty good state none the less. And, even if we aren’t we can always improve things along the way.

So, to break it down to you, the voice is the way you tell a story to people – verbally or in written form. Most often, the author/speaker does this to give his/her point of view to connect with the audience at an emotional level – to basically hit their sweet spot. Voice of audience, on the other hand, lets your audience voice out how they feel. It’s about how you facilitate audience engagement to create a relationship about a specific thing, for a specific time including its involvement, commitment, and personalization. When it comes to engagement, the golden rule is to not assume anything. Instead, it’s about understanding that participants at an event are human and they can change. It’s important to determine what they need, expect and value by listening to them. Then, it will only be a cakewalk to create event experiences that align with those expectations. It really doesn’t matter if it’s their first seminar or 30

When it comes to engagement, the golden rule is to not assume anything. Instead, it’s about understanding that participants at an event are human and they can change. It’s important to determine what they need, expect and value by listening to them. Then, it will only be a cakewalk to create event experiences that align with those expectations. It really doesn’t matter if it’s their first seminar or 30th seminar – the strategy is the same. People will be engaged ‘about’ something or ‘in’ something that interests them at a particular time.

Let’s say you are a social worker speaking at a conference with 700 participants. You deliver a speech on the importance of on how elevated levels of emotional intelligence can make you a more socially aware and empathetic individual. Do keep in mind that your audience comes from all walks of life and they are bound to have different opinions. Opinions that may or may not be voiced on social media or word of mouth. It can be something in your audience’s everyday lives that reorganizes itself that need minor improvements? Or, maybe it’s a self-discovery that they’ve already been practicing what you just preached but didn’t connect the dots between the two. Or, maybe this was the first time they heard about emotional intelligence. Who knows, they might go to the extent of creating an online forum to discuss what they felt about your session – and share their opinions with each other. This is exactly what the voice of audience is. Cool, isn’t it? With this progressive force in the digital arena, I’m sure you would want to know how each participant felt about your speech so that you can make a difference, improve or reach out to people who want to learn more about it.

It’s brilliant – the world as we know it. And, it gets even better if your audience enjoys your performance and voices it – you’d feel like a magician doing magic, just about right. Even, if they don’t like what you’re saying, fear not – there’d always be a next time. And since you understand what voice of audience really means, are you ready to create engagement by encouraging, empowering and motivating your audience – for better or for worse?