Creating an Interactive Meeting

For years presenters have looked for ways to turn their boring didactic meetings in which presenters are always lecturing their audience into engaging, thought-provoking interactive meeting.  Only recently have we found a solution -- Presenter in the Center.

We’ve been able to accomplish this by changing the way the room is set and moving our presenters into the center of the audience.  Albeit somewhat of a new concept to embrace, the results have proven to enhance content retention as well as improve the experience of spending days in a meeting room.

The reason this works:

The audiences are more likely to be engaged when using this technique that allows the presenter to have greater control of the room and to interact more freely with the audience as individuals. Presenters now have full command of the room. They’re able to walk right up to an individual for a discussion of content, better monitor the audience’s response, provide a one-on-one experience and promote spontaneous discussions.

This approach also minimizes the audience’s web-surfing, email monitoring and the mobile phone distractions that plague conventional style meetings. With the presenter everywhere in the room it is hard to hide the fact that you’re not paying attention.

Presentation content is much more accessible to the viewing audience.  With every slide on the computer right in front of them, on the big center screen and on ancillary screens around the room, the readability of every graphic is enhanced.

One of the greatest advantages of this technique is that it can better accommodate an audience seated in an oddly shaped room or one with lower ceilings, extra space we would not have otherwise been able to consider.



What happens and why this set helps engage the audience

With the presenter’s unlimited access to the room, she is able to move freely address the content on the screen.  Since it is in front of her and not behind or off to the side, it is easy to point to important content, to emphasize its value.

With more rows and more people closer to the presenter and the content, there is an innate improvement in content retention. With four LCD monitors designed to carry the message and the ability to present different supporting materials on these screens the audience is provided with an array of information to drive home the message.

Suggestions on preparing for this type of forum- What is different

Remove the stage; there is no longer a need for it.  By placing the presenter in the center of all the action you improve interactivity between the presenter and the audience, you personalize the discussion and create a one-on-one experience that is sure to improve retention.

Make the room less formal. Soften the presenters' approach to the audience by taking away the conventional lectern and replace with covered, hi-boy cocktail round and place a covered cocktail table in the center.  Place bottle water at different locations for the speaker to grab in the even he needs to gather his thoughts. Add a few stools at the screen, round the room and in front of the podium for the speaker to stop at will – this will add to the interactive effect and make the presenter more personable to the audience – a key to creating interactivity.

If laptops are needed for as little as one day, it is to your advantage to leave the computers in the room for the entire meeting.  Since most computer rentals are based on a 4~5 day rental, you’ve already paid for the extra usage.