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Time to dump content dumping

From pulpit to sandpit

Our last blog encouraged storytelling over traditional content-dumping. Now we need to go a step further. A story will always bring a strategy to life, but ‘telling’ isn’t enough. Times are past when your audience sat quietly and soaked up your wisdom, happy to be included in the ‘telling’ of the story.

In today’s fast-paced, disruptive world there’s a real need to listen as well as inform. Live events are increasingly about hacking strategy in real time. Getting true buy-in. Hearing what’s being experienced at the coal face. And this can be as true for staff engagement programs as for customer events. Without doubt, participation has become a guiding principle for a successful engagement.

Once upon a… time to engage

To feel energised and engaged, any audience has to be heard as well as spoken to. More, they need to take part, rather than just receive. To engage, not just observe. Interaction is fundamental if you want your message to stick.

Most of us know this. So why do so many organisations so often merely pay lip service? The simple answer is that opening up a conversation and encouraging participation makes us feel vulnerable. Leaders want to stay in control. Why would we risk having the whole agenda hijacked? Our strategy reoriented? Or our optimum outcomes ousted? How can we be in control when we don’t know what people are going to do? Or what they’re going to say?

Listen, interact and involve

Actually, it’s not hard. In fact, it’s quite easy to energise, engage and involve your audience. There are multiple ways to ask for input, then manage the response. You can ask for views and ideas before an event. Build in tweets, live chat and blogs. Add live audience voting and dialogue streaming via mobile apps. Encourage smartphone video contributions. Stage onsite interactions, debates and discussions. Introduce Apps which let delegates create their own itineraries, or explore content at a level that suits them.

All of these engagements can be woven into a conversation. And each of these engagements ensures your audience feel involved and recognised.

In short, a little creativity can turn any one-way channel …… into a two-way conversation.

Further reading