Some presenters hope to generate attendee engagement through high production value. They have built high-tech studios that allow them to cut to different backgrounds and poses while delivering TV-style sound and images with excellent equipment. Some don’t rely on studios but instead invest in beautiful PowerPoints with 200 eye-catching slides and flip through them quickly while narrating a very tight well-written story. Perhaps they play a captivating video or pay for animation. This kind of keynote style is very akin to modern documentaries. Attendees sit back and let the story wash over them.
The other kind of virtual attendee engagement invites active participation from each attendee. These keynoters draw the audience in by asking questions and creating space for dialogue. They carefully mold the environment to allow each attendee to participate in the way they feel most comfortable. Behind the scenes, the technology can be just as expensive as the performance keynote, but the technology is not the hero. The conversations are. Attendees share their ideas, learn from peers, and enjoy the energy of contributing to an important topic.
As you are sourcing your next virtual keynote speaker, it’s worth thinking about which method of engagement your audience needs right now.