Audience Engagement Platforms: The Quiet Workplace Revolution Coming to an Office Near You

A quiet revolution has been taking place in offices around the world. Many trailblazers are pivoting away from traditional presentation tools and instead opting for a new category of tech product: audience engagement platforms.

In the face of a culture increasingly defined by interaction – liking, sharing, and commenting – presentation tools have remained stubbornly static and one directional, maintaining a strict  and traditional  speaker-audience relationship.  But that might all be about to change with disruptors like Swedish start-up Mentimeter challenging this relationship. Inspiring leaders to be better listeners and aiming to transform audiences from passive listeners to active participants.


Listening Leadership

Power and status have historically come from an ability to grab the microphone and speak, but – in the modern world – truly great leadership comes more from listening, understanding an audience, and empowering them to participate. People feel more invested if they are given the opportunity to express themselves, and forward thinking leaders are opening those lines of communication.

Meaningful Engagement

Audience engagement platforms allow for real-time contributions from your audience that are beautifully and instantly visualised within the speaker’s presentation. In addition to visualised polls and word clouds, they also allow for much more meaningful engagement. Digital tools often provide relatively shallow or superficial levels of engagement, with their built-in chat or quick polls. Beyond this, we are left with the loudest voice in the room dominating when people unmute or speak up in the room.

Portals through which people can input their unfiltered opinion (rather than choosing between predetermined options) and Q&A functions allow for meaningful and anonymous contributions that are given equal consideration and authority. This helps the audience to be more open or honest, and it entices participants to engage more fully – rather than opening another tab while they work from home.


The “Hybrid” Element

This question of engagement is further complicated by the advent of hybrid working and trying to bridge the digital divide between those who are in the meeting room and those who are working from home. Audience engagement platforms like Mentimeter serve to reduce the distance between speaker and audience – rather than creating it –  by grabbing the attention of people working remotely and including them in the conversation while asking them for input. So, contributions made by people in the room and those at home are represented equally.


Work Smart, Work Surprising. Get Ahead.

In addition to the practical benefits of audience engagement platforms – the increased engagement, interest, and improved communication – you also get something else… the “wow” factor. That reaction from audience members when they see a tool like Mentimeter for the first and ask, firstly: How do you do that? And secondly: How do I do that? Achieving that kind of reaction from a tool that is so easy to use is rare, and you should take full advantage of that fact, before your colleagues do.

The number of meetings we have, emails we exchange, and documents we produce has never been larger. According to Microsoft, average meeting length has increased by 148%, 40.6 billion more emails were sent in February 2021 vs February 2020, and use of documents has increased by 66%…and that’s only for Microsoft products! But audience engagement platforms serve to make meetings more efficient and more effective by optimising communication and increasing engagement in both directions. So the question I have for my audience is: Why aren’t you already using them?