No matter what it is you’re standing in front of your delegates talking about, there will be parts of every conference or workshop were people will start to lose concentration. The room could start to get a little warm or it could be just after lunch, either way it is inevitably going to happen. We’ve got a few simple tips to help keep your audience focused right throughout the day:
- Keep text to a minimum: If you’re doing a presentation as part of your conference or workshop, it’s best to keep the text on each slide to a minimum. Seeing lots of text on the screen can be daunting and it makes you more likely to simply read what it says to your delegates. Instead stick to bullet points and then expand on them as you talk. This will give you more of a natural conversational tone which will be easier for people to listen to. You could also use images to grab people’s attention.
- Try to include some interactivity: sometimes it is hard to include interactivity in a conference or workshop as it takes up quite a bit of time, however, it keeps people alert and also acts as an ice breaker amongst delegates. Why not try doing something on flipcharts or even a quick quiz with sweets as prizes.
- Choose your venue carefully: It’s important to choose a conference venue that gives your delegates enough space. If they are cramped into a small room, it will become uncomfortable and they may lose concentration. It is also important to choose somewhere that has break out space so that delegates have somewhere to move around during break time
- Provide good choice of refreshments: Whether you’re providing lunch or not, it is always nice to provide a good choice of refreshments to keep delegates happy throughout the day. It could be some nice biscuits to go with their tea or a choice of herbal teas to add something different. Whatever it is, it is sure to make an impression.
- Be organised: Make sure you plan the day carefully. Your delegates will feel much better if there is a solid plan in place that you stick to as people may not be too happy if you finish a lot later than expected or if breaks are cut short. Have any materials or equipment ready on the tables before they come in and have someone on hand to direct people as they arrive.
- Finally, remember to get feedback at the end of your conference or workshop to see how engaged people were. Ask for comments so that you can improve next time if you need to.
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