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OUTREACH

At Audience Engagement Group,
we’ve chosen to provide services to organizations who would otherwise not afford event production services. If you are a group, who is of non-profit status (Section 501(c)(3)) or similar, and require services please let us know.

We will be more than happy to work within your budget and often support in-kind donations.

In Houston, we donate time and in-kind donations to the following organizations because we feel It’s important to give back to the community. Here is a just a small list of our local outreach:

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Lone Star Veterans Association https://www.lonestarveterans.org/

Texas Children's Hospital https://www.texaschildrens.org/

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Audience Hog – When a Presenter goes Rogue

So you just got your last presenter up on stage before lunch – you’ve left the room to make sure the food is on time and on its way from chef. Your Social Marketing team has done a great job at getting the word out and generating late registrants. Your On-Site Event Manager is able to add the additional attendees. During the tasting weeks ago, you, your team and chef sat down and he did a marvelous job on the selection of food, even allowing for food allergies.
You now look at the foyer and Banquets has already set up buffet tables & décor for a Tex-Mex meal (a Mexican –Texas combination that few outside of Southern Texas can replicate) And it’s not the cheap décor either it’s nice stuff, it has no dust or cracks and hasn’t been used a thousand times. You come back in the ballroom and discover you’re about 10 min behind. Not terrible, but you give the go ahead to your Production Team to give the 2 min wrap up signal now. The audience anticipates the food – they see it and smell it… Its food they are going to drift. You quickly leave to check on the lunch ballroom where everyone will be seated. Seems fine, a few thing left to do- but it’s ready. You come back in the room and discover your now 20 minutes behind and that the Presenter has become the dreaded Audience Hog. They have gone off topic, squealing about stories that are irrelevant or realize they love the sound of their own voice and begin stretching out their words (trust me it happens).
Lunch will need to be short since you have a major presenter coming in and you want them to have all of his allocated time to speak, you’ve paid him a lot of moola and he is one reason everyone is attending.
Being the leader you are, you decide to take over the wrap up. You’ve signaled more than once to the presenter that time is up, and he glosses over you like you are praising him to keep going. Now you have cold food and a late start to the afternoon.
Finally you go up to the stage wait for a pause in the presentation and say, ‘well that we interesting – that’s all the time we have right now. Lunch is served we are back in at 1pm sharp.’ Everyone starts exiting the room. They have barely enough time to take a bio break, check email and eat. And now the Audience Hog is deflated because he never focused on the finish and realizes the short but awkward moment is on him.
This typically happens to less seasoned presenters and it can really mess up your day. It may not happen in this fashion but at some point you have to make up time – another presenter will need to shorten their speech – hopefully it’s a staffer or a panel discussion that you can adjust.
How can one correct it? How can you help Presenters become better? Here’s how we solve the problem… These are tools to help presenters tell their experience effectively.

1) Have them come in early – walk the stage with your presenter and production staff – point out the speaker timer, confidence monitor(s), have them go through their ppt presentation a few clicks on the slide advance and let them get use to the environment – then remind them of their time allotted and where they can view how much of it is left (do this last). It is by far the most successful diplomatic way to support presenters.

2) If they are not able to come in early i.e. flight delayed etc… then acclimate them when they get to the room. Let them know what tools are on stage and approximately where they are located. Also make sure the Production Team has enough time to load and test the Presenters presentation – just a side note.

3) If you have a true audience hog on your hands and have not been able to review with them the solutions above, you can walk to the stage at ground level near the Lectern (Yes I said it, LECTERN. A Podium is what you stand on…a Lectern is what you stand behind) Ok, walk to the Lectern, grasp your hands together at your side, and smile at the presenter. If they don’t get the hint, take steps toward them even moving in front of the stage to grab their attention if you must. Presenters will get the hint.

You ask why does one place their hands to the side rather than clutch your hand in a formal way on center? Because grasping your hands at the side (the side where the Presenter can best see) is not natural, and philologically it will trigger something is wrong just enough to pull them out of their own nirvana and realize time is up. As a last resort, have the Executive Director or another Association Member walk out on stage and help wrap up as well.

We all come across hogs, but if you consider preparing your Presenters, and creating boundaries before the event begins, you can help you and your team out immensely. Make sure your Production Company is also on-board with this as well. If you have a known hog on your hands, you can also start your speaker timer just a little early. Best Regards.

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Audience Engagement Group Best Practice for PPT Presentations

Below are some quick tips to help with power point presentations. Some are simple reminders but others are best practice. Whether you are an event professional or you’ve been asked to speak at an upcoming function – SOMEONE believes you have something important to say – make sure you’re prepared to give your best by connecting with your production team.

Reviewing media- PPT

For your next presentation-Send in your ppt deck early so it may be reviewed by the production staff prior to show-site. This will ensure that the material is presented the way it was intended. Even if you choose to change the content before you present, it gives your graphics team an idea of what to expect. There is a tempo (flow) to how one presents and your production team should pick up on it. If a production company says ‘no, just show up on show-site with it’, this is a red flag. An event production company should always have your best interests in mind.

PPT with Video

The best way to present a video through ppt, is not to. Videos can lock up your presentation. More often than not the media may not be imbedded correctly or is imbedded with old school technology, or worse the company selected to project your material has yet to install the latest updates on the presentation laptops. Your Production Producer should ask to separate the media. Your graphics and video team will be able to do this for you, and may even save your files so that you can present it either with /without.

Sensitive & Proprietary Presentations

If you have sensitive information, consider having the event producer sign an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). This should be understood, but it’s also a best practice. At times we also work with proprietary information or information that only can be driven by a presenter. Make sure you come in early enough to review the material correctly – even if you only have time during a break in the schedule. Our suggestion is to obtain a direct contact email/number of the producer so they can make the proper accommodations. In addition, when driving a ppt with your own computer, make sure you list the model number, though HDMI’s are standard now, we’ve had HDSDI, DVI, HDMI, and VGA but there are many ways to connect and view ppt’s. We suggest either traveling with your own connection or make sure they have one on site for you.

Timing

Make sure all timers are turned off on the presentation.

PPT Builds or Animation

Make sure these actually fit your presentation.

Plan B

Make sure you have your ppt slide presentation printed out. In the event that the day does not go a planned, ie. Power outage, projector problem etc, make sure you are able to continue forward. Your message with or without slides should have a similar outcome. We’d also like to point out that if one relies solely on their slides for a presentation, you may not present your material or connect with your audience – ie. The audience came to see you.

PPT Slides accessible to Attendees

As an Event Manager are you collecting all ppt media and posting it on-line later so that attendees can review? How is this being collected? How are the files being stored? Lastly, have you asked permission to post the presentations.

Note to Conference Personnel

If there are no rehearsals, make sure all presenters are trained before they hit the stage, and understand their mic, slide advance, speaker timer, where they enter from and location of the confidence monitors. Do you want the confidence monitor to display the presentation, the notes or both – with that, your production personnel should be on top of this, they should be a transparent extension of you.

Overall make sure you and your presenters are aware of how to operate the slide advance, and who is driving it. Some have fancy units that are not effective. If one has to navigate 12 buttons to advance a presentation forward – this will definitely stop the presentation. Even seasoned speakers get tripped up.

The standard projected format for many years has been 16:9. If media is created in another format such as 4:3 it could be project far smaller than intended. This would affect the presentation and your audience engagement. The recommended format for both ppt and video is 16×9.

If you have a conference template, make sure it is established in 16:9.

Look at the fonts, are they too small – do you have a lot of data to show? A lot of data on a screen shuts down an audience, simply because they cannot process the image and listen to you at the same time. If you do show data, reveal it as you progress forward.

You can ask your graphics team to convert to 16:9. Note that pictures and some others features may look stretched. By adjusting the ratio in ppt, these can be updated, again your production company can help you to navigate through to an updated version. Moving forward, make sure you obtain a copy of the new format, this way you have 2 options.

If you should need a check list sheet developed for your speakers, let your production company know. They can design a list of what to expect for those people who are arriving late to the event. As simple as this sounds, knowing the stage layout and av tools they will use, helps tremendously. Speakers engage with the audience more and interaction tends to be more eventful.

Lastly, ask your selected production company if they are providing backup graphics and playback pro computers. With backup graphics you can change ppt or switchover in the event things don’t go as planned or change content on a slide in a pinch.

We hope that these few points have been helpful. Should you like to learn more, please check back with us on Twitter #audienceengagement , LinkedIn Audience Engagement Group and our website www.audienceengagementgroup.com.

Audience Engagement Group

Cognitive Marketing – Exceptional Results
(281) 892-2383

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Capturing an Audience – In a nutshell By Audience Engagement Group

Everyone who gives a presentation wants it to be meaningful and knowing how an audience absorbs information is a key factor. Below are some reminders and insights as to how audiences retain information. It’s our hope that if one follows these guidelines, you will have more successful presentations and interactions.

65% of the US population are visual learners which means they need visuals to associate a relationship between thoughts, objects or theories. Give them a chart and show them a lot of graphics that relate between your points and you’ve captured them. Most presenters only focus on this group. But that is only a portion of people – a little more than half of your audience – what about the rest?

Auditory learners want to hear info rather than see it and at times they often repeat info to remember. If you allow people to reword or repeat what your points are, they will become engaged in your speech, ie. This group is most likely to ask questions from the audience – such as ‘if I understand you correctly…’ They represents 30% of our population. Tell them a story and how it relates to the graphics or visuals – and now you’ve captured them. Story is key, they are examples of struggles – a way for them to identify with you.

Lastly, we have kinesthetic learners who make up 5%. These are the hands-on people who learn best by doing. Anything related to hands-on experience such as workshops or an audience exercise – and now you’ve just captured your entire audience.

In addition, one can get a leg up if questions are asked of the Conference Director in regards to demographics, it’s not just age, sex, sales or operations. Hopefully they are taking into account other analytics to help you make your presentation a great experience ie. depts, apps, social media. If you are unsure of your audience in the beginning, take a quick poll in the first few moments before you dive into your speech, a raise of hands to questions, 3-4 points. This will not only give you insight as to whom you are speaking to but also how to mold your presentation and gear it towards something more meaningful. Your information is important, but think about your audience and how this info will be used in the future.

To reach all – Consider using the graphics – provide builds if you are showing large amounts of data – and with data, keep it simple – you’ll begin to lose a lot of people if you don’t. Begin to connect your points by telling real life stories, an example of when you experienced success and failure. Then take a moment to build a relation exercise for them, sometimes it’s as easy as a perception exercise. Ie. have everyone close their eyes and perceive what the best process workflow would be, or the best client experience. The idea here is that each person will because of their background, age and influences will experience the exercise different – not all think the same way you do.

Here is something most will not do…walk into the audience – yes interact with them. Stages and Lecterns can also block connections. Step out to reach them, that’s what they came for. An audiences hopes you will make a difference with their own struggles or processes. Give them what they came for.

If you’d like more information about reaching your audience effectively, please email us at hello@audienceengagementgroup.com.

Audience Engagement Group

Cognitive Marketing – Exceptional Events
(281) 892-2383