How to add some air into complex topics as a moderator?
Politics, technical presentations, or scientific issues can be serious business. But sometimes, in aiming to convey the seriousness of the topic, speakers can be downright boring. When an (online) event fails to engage the audience, it loses its ability to have the message heard, remembered, adopted, or acted on. So how do you present complex topics during an online event? This blog post is about ways to make your complex topic more engaging.
Ways to make your complex topic more engaging
Being a professional moderator and host, I work with a variety of industries, these include IT-sectors and the Erasmus University. Often, their topics are complex themes, for instance, something like artificial intelligence.
You wouldn’t think so at first, but professionals in these difficult sectors also need to zoom out once in a while. They need to take a break from what they already know and deal with on a daily basis. That means that the topics should not be presented according to their methodology. Here’s where I come in. I try to treat them in a somewhat lighter tone.
My clients often tell me that they like this. As I am not a professional from their sector, I can approach the subject a bit more like a layman. This takes the audience out of their comfort zone and offers a different view. Some people may not always like that, but it works very well for attention during an entire (online) event.
How do I present a complex topic to your audience in an engaging way?
Short and Sweet
I make the subject of the event or organization manageable and simplify it here and there. I use clear, understandable language and I stop using jargon, overused metaphors and clichés. Talks which are convoluted and overly complicated are hard to engage with. You know the saying ‘short and sweet’? Well, that works well in the speaking business too.
Interviews en personal anecdotes
I make sure that my interviews are really personal and relevant with storytelling and anecdotes. It is of course important to use technical terms, but it is also necessary to make real contact with the professionals, regardless of the industry experience and background. I am curious about the person behind all that.
Some time ago, I moderated a live event in the maritime sector. The audience was full of VIP industry members. The CEO gave an opening speech and presented all kinds of ships.
Instead of asking the obvious, I was actually curious about his dreams when he was a little boy. He hadn’t quite expected that question. I also asked him: “Do you have any wishes regarding ships or boats that you want to sail?” This is an example of making personal contact with someone for just one moment. And that makes the event a bit lighter and more personal.
People are fascinated by stories. People linger when they are triggered by what you say. I am absolutely convinced of that. And that is why I think the importance of real personal contact and showing more of yourself at such an event is very important.
If you frequently organize online events about policy, technical, or scientific issues, and you want to engage your audience to the fullest, contact me. I would love to schedule a virtual cup of coffee with you and discuss the possibilities!
What can I say about moderating events or voice-over work?! well, a lot.
Welcome to the world of moderation, live and online.
Here I’m happy to share my experiences in short blogs to give you valuable tips!
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