Engaging Your Audience in a Hybrid World

If you’re a speaker, you’ve spent the last year trying to figure out how to stop your virtual audience from checking their email and texts while you’re presenting and pay attention to YOU!

As an audience member, you’ve watched dozens (or more!) of Zoom meetings wondering why the speaker hasn’t (obviously) spent more time making a more engaging presentation.

Just as we’ve got the hang of it, venues around the world are opening for live in-person events again!

Many event organizers are vowing to continue to serve the virtual audience by delivering their conferences and meetings virtually as well as in-person live. The hybrid format will be the typical standard.

How you prepare yourself to present for hybrid audiences will determine how you get identified in the speaking world as “just a speaker” or as a “professional speaker.”

For this week’s Million-Dollar Nugget show, I interviewed one of the most engaging professional speakers I know of. His name is Frank Kitchen.

Join Speakers Speak Group to get immediate access to the full 40-minute interview. But first, watch the teaser below.

Specific Engagement Tips and Techniques for Speakers

Specifically, Frank will share with you exactly how to:

  • Define different types of hybrid events.
  • Ask the right questions about technology when doing a hybrid event.
  • Coordinate with an event moderator.
  • Thoroughly prepare for a hybrid event in advance.
  • Engage and interact with the virtual audience.

…Plus more tips to make sure your hybrid event runs smoothly!

VIDEO: Defining Types of Hybrid Events

In this 2 minute YouTube clip from the full interview, Frank and I discuss different types of hybrid events, since “hybrid” is not limited to just having an in-person audience and a virtual one.

So much more was discussed, so here are my Top 10 Tips Frank gave during our entire discussion:

Top 10 Suggestions from the Discussion

  1. Plan to do a lot more planning to make sure you can focus on providing your presentation content most smoothly.
  2. If you call yourself non-technical, you need to identify what you are worried about and then ask those questions of who’s hiring you.
  3. Always ask the question of the person hiring you: “What can I do to make your life easier?”
  4. Expect the way the event planners want the event might not be the way you’re expecting the event to be hybrid. So be sure to fully understand how the event will be hybrid.
  5. Request a tech walkthrough minimum 48 hours before the event.
  6. Find out where you can physically show up 30 minutes before the event starts to test the video and microphone for the streaming as well as the in-person setup.
  7. Ask, “Will I be able to see the audience or not during my presentation?”
  8. Find out who the top person is who will be running the technical aspects of your presentation and get that person’s cell phone number if possible.
  9. Use the online chat as a data collection source and be sure to save the chat for your own reference.
  10. Ask the right questions. Join the Speakers Speak Group in the Guides section for a complete list of questions to ask as provided by Frank Kitchen.

Are you ready to be a speaker at an upcoming in-person event facilitated by me, Marty Dickinson? You are in luck! Now that venues are re-opening, we plan to resume the building of our live in-person events called “Speaker Theater” across the U.S.! Follow the link for more information and where you can sign-up to be notified about future events.