How to engage a virtual audience

8 Ways Speakers Can Engage Their Virtual Audience at the Last Minute
Article written by Emilie Barta, available for consultation here: 

“Have you ever received an email from a conference organizer a few days before your speaking session alerting you to the fact that your session is going to be live streamed to a virtual audience? Good news…you now have a much larger audience! Bad news…you can’t see them, but they can see you!

Following are 8 ways you can engage your virtual audience when you find out that you have one at the last minute:1. Create a hashtag for your session or use the conference’s hashtag to enable virtual audience members to ask questions via Twitter.
2. Add the hashtag and Twitter handles of all speakers in your session to all slides as a constant communication reminder.
3. At start of your session, look into the camera, welcome the virtual audience to your session, and show them appreciation for their involvement.
4. Explain to virtual audience that they can ask questions by tweeting with the hashtag, and continuously remind them throughout the session…F2F audience members can also tweet questions if that feels more comfortable than speaking out loud.
5. Moderate the hashtag throughout your session to ensure the virtual audience’s voice is heard and questions are answered.
6. Continually make eye contact with the camera as if it were another person sitting in the audience.
7. At end of your session, make eye contact with camera and thank the virtual audience members for joining your session.
8. Encourage the virtual audience to tweet any further questions to the appropriate person via their Twitter handle.

These last minute tips are a great way to turn your virtual audience from passive viewers to active participants. Break a leg!”

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