Virtual Speaker Engagement
MBA CSEA places a high value on attendee engagement within our events. This is not only important from an event satisfaction perspective, it’s critical to our existence as a provider of high-quality professional development opportunities.Once speakers are selected, the following tips will help ensure our goals are met and attendees are satisfied with the experience.
Tips for standalone speakers (keynotes, plenary speakers)
- If PowerPoint (or a similar tool) is used, minimize the number of slides and the amount of text on the slides.
- Encourage other interactive online tools, such as Kahoot, Menti, Mural, etc. MBA CSEA has accounts that can be used if needed.
- Other suggestions for interactive activities:
- Polls or audience questions – these can be done using the online polling tool through Zoom or another tool such as Menti (note: if using the Zoom tool, the Executive Director needs the poll questions one week in advance). Alternatively, attendees can respond to questions via the chat, the interactive features (clapping icons, etc.) or turning their web cams on and off.
- Q&A – this can be done throughout the presentation or at the end, depending on the speaker’s preference. If the audience is larger than 50, we recommend using chat. With a smaller group, voice questions can work depending on the volume of questions.
- Whiteboard/annotation – using the tool within Zoom or an external tool such as Mural.
- Breakout rooms – rooms can be named with topics and attendees can choose, or they can be assigned randomly.
Tips for Panelists
- Panels work better when the focus is on the interaction between the panelists and engagement with the attendees. For this reason, we do not recommend formal presentations/PowerPoints during panel sessions.
- The maximum recommended number of panelists is three (plus a moderator). This allows everyone enough time to provide quality content while also leaving time for Q&A.
- The suggested timing for a panel is as follows:
- 5 minutes to allow attendees to enter the room
- 5 minutes of introductions
- 30 minutes of panel discussion
- 15 minutes of Q&A
- 5 minutes of closing
- It can be useful to plant seed questions for committee members to ask if there is a lull during the Q&A.
- Other interactive tools can be used with panels, but they are generally not needed if the panel is lively and the questions are timely and relevant to the audience.
- If the audience is larger than 50, we recommend using chat for the Q&A. With a smaller group, voice questions can work depending on the volume of questions.