6 Ways To Boost The Interaction You Get From Groups
When speaking with a client recently, they mentioned they hadn’t got the interaction they were hoping for, in a presentation.
Apparently, people were a little reluctant to engage.
From my experience, lack of interaction can be caused by the fact that people:
- Are not used to or expecting interaction
- Don’t feel they have the right answers
- Don’t know many other people on the call / in the session
- Are shy or introverted (or culturally don’t speak up)
So I shared a few tips with them, for how to generate greater interaction.
Here’s 6 approaches you can use, if you’re facing a similar challenge too.
1. ALLOW BRAINSTORMING
One of the things you can do is give people time and space to brainstorm a response to something first.
This can work well if you have a group that is a bit shy, doesn’t know eachother, or culturally doesn’t speak up easily.
Then, because they’ve got their ideas out already, they’ll feel more comfortable to share those ideas as they’ll be right there infront of them in black and white.
E.g. You might give people 1 min to brainstorm some options to a specific question first. Then bring them back together and have some people share with the broader group.
2. SPLIT INTO SMALL GROUPS
Split people into small groups (i.e. pairs) first, to discuss it with just one or two other people.
Generally if people have had time to chat in a small group, they’re more comfortable to express their ideas to a broader group.
This can work well for either a virtual talk or an in person talk.
E.g. In person you can simply ask people to chat with the person next to them. Plus you only need to give them 1-2mins to do it, so it can be quite quick. The level of excitement and chatter and noise it generates is fantastic and well worth it.
3. ASK SIMPLE QUESTIONS
If you start with a *no-brainer* question, it can ease people into the swing of it.
Then they realise there will be interaction, but it’s gradual. Because not everyone is expecting to get involved. So this is a good way to build up the level of interaction required.
E.g. A closed question that doesn’t require a whole lot of thinking or guess-work (something that just requires a Yes or No answer).
4. DO A CLASSIC ICEBREAKER
If the group doesn’t know each other well, do an ice-breaker to warm them up!
This can absolutely be done either in person, or virtually, although there are certain games that would work better in person vs virtually and vice versa.
Although you do need a bit of time for this.
E.g. This could be some sort of a getting to know you exercise or game such as – 2 Truths & 1 Lie, the ‘I Am’ Game, Most Embarrassing Story, etc.
5. BE VULNERABLE FIRST
A great way to inspire people to want to share is to be vulnerable first.
The way you can do this is by sharing some personal information or a personal story / experience of yours.
I don’t mean personal in the sense of it being super intrusive. Just for people to get to know. Moreso if they don’t already.
E.g. Maybe you share a story that connects you to the topic, or maybe you just share some information about you and some photos. So people realise you’re human too!
6. MAKE PEOPLE MOVE
Getting people to move is a great way to shift the energy of participants
Whether you’re simply getting them to stand up and walk around to stretch their legs. Or if you’re getting the movement to intertwine into some sort of interaction.
E.g. I remember coaching someone who was presenting at an in-person Conference a few years ago. They wanted to have some interaction, but they also didn’t want it to flop. So instead of asking everyone to put their hand up in response to a question, they approached it a little differently. They asked everyone to stand first. Then they asked anyone to sit if they answered yes to the question. Because everyone had already got up, they were much more inclined to want to sit down (to participate)!
If you’re going to include some interaction in your presentation(s), have these options up your sleeve.
It will help it to go smoothly. Plus give you maximum engagement!
What have you tried before that works really well !?
Emily Edgeley is a Public Speaking Coach for the Technology industry. Since 2017 she’s run over 100 group coaching sessions, coached more than 250 people privately, and formally supported first time and experienced speakers at 10 Conferences, covering 1000+ people across the globe.
She’s on a mission to help anyone in the Tech arena learn how to speak with clarity, impact, and confidence, whether that’s at work or at a Conference. So they can share their ideas, build their brand and start to enjoy ‘public speaking’!