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7 Audience Engagement Strategies for Your Next Meeting

Use these tech-driven tips to encourage audience engagement at your next meeting, whether it’s a big annual meeting or a weekly all-hands.

People Ops

Audience engagement: employees asking questions to each otherWe all want more audience engagement at our meetings. It’s no fun to be hosting a lunch & learn and find that there’s no questions from the audience, or to post on the internal team social media and get no interaction back.

How do you go from a disengaged team to a happy, excited, and motivated one? With the help of the right audience engagement strategy, tactics, and ideas.

In this guide, we’ll explore:

Let’s take a closer look at audience engagement, why it should be a top goal, and how you can create more opportunities for engagement and participation at every meeting.

What is audience engagement?

Audience engagement is the way that your community, customers, or clients interact with what you do. This covers everything from participation in a webinar or livestream, to enjoying a live demo at an in-person event, to taking part in a social media challenge run by your brand. 

In this article, we’ll focus on the audience being your employees and the engagement being at a meeting, since that’s what we built Polly for.

After all, your employees are an audience too. While there are specific employee engagement strategies we’d recommend, you’ll be able to use these audience engagement ideas to run more interactive meetings.

Why audience engagement matters

Investing in audience participation means your team members or hosts will always have someone’s question to answer, problem to solve, or idea to get excited about. There’s more value in an engaged audience than simply higher levels of participation, though.

When you get it right, audience engagement leads to:

  • 🎉 More meaningful interactions with your team
  • 💪 Stronger connections and relationships
  • 🔒 Higher levels of loyalty and retention
  • 💬 Chances to get honest and valuable feedback from your team
  • 💸 More opportunities to close deals, make sales, or otherwise reach your goals

Whether you’re planning a virtual event for your department, a hybrid meeting, or simply want to invest more in your team, audience engagement should be one of your primary goals.

7 of the best audience engagement strategies for businesses

Building up audience engagement on your team doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a mix of strategies, tactics, and an idea of how you’re going to turn your goals into a reality. If you’re ready to find new ways to keep your audience engaged, here are some of our best ideas.

1. Know your team

Audience engagement: woman using a laptop while looking out for her childYou can’t deliver a great meeting experience that invites people to take part if you don’t know what your audience wants. Go back to the basics and spend time researching what your staff needs out of meetings, so you can create a plan that matches their wants and needs.

As you consider your meeting audience’s needs, it’s a good time to think about accessibility and how you can make your remote, hybrid, or in-person meeting more inclusive. Look for ways to make the meeting more interactive for everyone — whether that’s choosing a venue that’s accessible, offering a live translator or interpreter, or allowing people to vote in live polls anonymously.

2. Set audience engagement goals

Once you’ve decided what your meeting audience wants, you need to set some targets, goals, or milestones so you can monitor your progress. Decide how you’ll measure audience engagement, and what success looks like to you.

Figure out which engagement metrics are most important to you, then build your key performance indicators (KPIs) around this. Metrics like attendance, people who unmuted their microphone to speak, or number of votes in a live poll are all useful ways to benchmark and monitor engagement levels over time.

3. Make your meeting interactive

Employees attending an online meetingIt’s tough for audience members to engage with your content, meeting, or event if they aren’t given the chance to. Design experiences that make getting involved feel effortless and encouraged.

Choose a format that’s ideal for meeting and event engagement, like a Q&A session or fireside chat. Include interactive elements like quizzes, fun polls, and icebreaker games, where people can become an active participant in what’s happening around them.

4. Have an interesting keynote speaker for big meetings

You can try all the engagement tactics you want, but they’ll fall flat if your content isn’t capturing the intended audience’s attention. If you plan to host a major all-hands meeting with a special keynote speaker, make sure they have a story or message that’s worth sharing.

Keep your team’s wants and needs in mind as you plan the presentation topics for remote or hybrid all-staff meetings. Look for experts to bring in as speakers that can share a story in an engaging way, or have a unique perspective to share with others.

5. Use live polling for instant feedback

Team attending a virtual meetingWhether you’re hosting an internal meeting for your team or a lunch & learn with a guest speaker, using live polls and surveys can be a fun and effective way to get people’s feedback. Use it to help you identify trends, get insights, and identify the best way forward.

Live polls allow you to capture feedback and ideas in real-time, and you can often choose to share the results live too — leading to even more opportunities for audience interaction. Use Polly’s live poll feature as an audience engagement tool for any moment where you want to get insights and create interaction.

6. Consider live streaming some of your meetings

There may be times when you want to invite external guests to a traditionally in-house meeting — for example, if you want to share what a typical all-hands meeting looks like with a new board member or an investor. In these moments, consider livestreaming your meeting on an invite-only link so they can join you.

Once your meeting is over, you can then save your livestream to an internal database. That way, you can capture any key details from your meetings and have them ready and available when team members want to check back and reference key decisions.

7. Invite and listen to feedback

Employees writing a check mark on a feedback formA key part of audience engagement is reading and listening, and what better way to do that than to invite your employees to give you feedback on what’s working and what isn’t.

Use Polly’s feedback features to get insights from your internal or external Slack community. Our live Q&A is the ideal way to gather feedback in the moment as it happens.

Our meeting feedback template is ideal for extracting thoughts about your internal meetings. Use this feedback to help you shape future meetings for the better.

Get closer to your team with these audience engagement strategies

Plan ahead for your next meeting, large or small, and bake some of these audience engagement tactics into your strategy. Use these ideas to create an environment where participation is encouraged and celebrated.

Make audience interaction at every meeting easier with the help of an engagement tool like Polly. With live polls, interactive quizzes, suggestion boxes and more, our platform makes it simple to create moments of interaction with your team.

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