Live Broadcasting – Insights to Audience Emotion

When presenting to an audience we all like to see bums on chairs in front of us, as we can see the expressions of the people as they listen and yes, a few sleep, several yawn and wonder why they came. It’s a good indication of them showing interest or not. The presenter can gather unlimited direct data to change the pace or bring a little humour to perk people up. Well we hope so as nothing worst that a presenter reading PPT slides and lots of monotonous speak.

When sitting on the side-line in so many events running the production you notice all the traits of the audience and the presenter. However, an online broadcast of the event to the audience brings in a different set of issues. Using live webcasting the great thing is you can see how many participants there are, but you cannot see their emotion. Allowing questions is a good start as you gather an initial feel from how they are asked, like the employee trying to make a point and not accepting, the awkward question on redundancies or how the management should really run the company.

We always love free speech as this builds the audiences view on how the presenter is delivering the information. This data adds live insight to the presenter to drive the right level of messages out to the audience.

During the live presentation most normally 30-45 minutes, any longer on a broadcast and you see the slowly decreasing death curve of the event as people turn off, measuring the audience emotion would ensure changing the speaking tone and narrative along with the audience feeling thus keeping in-tune with your audience building greater interaction and response from them.

An engaged interactive audience is worth 100% more than the ones that joined from being curious or expected the usual blub. The more the audience can interact and feel they can change the course of the live broadcast the longer they will engage, will leave feeling they have received an event of usefulness for their time given and most likely want to come back for more.

The added benefit is that the on-demand version available after the broadcast is now tailored to fit the follow up audience and help drive them to attend the next live broadcast.

So how do we do this, a good start is experimenting with Microsoft Skype Media Broadcast. Why Microsoft well most likely its already integrated in your Office365 enterprise services. For small businesses if you don’t already have Microsoft Enterprise then certainly worth considering as it’s incredibly low price and has the broadcast feature included for up to 10,000 people internal or external.

If you used Skype for Business already then you know it’s like the many tools out there for handling conferences. Skype Media Broadcast is the added-on functionality for turning the Skype Meeting into a broadcast platform with multiple presenters, PowerPoint and video. As it stands it’s good for the job, however its format can be adjusted to enhance the system for greater experiences. You can ask me direct about the how-to.

So back to bums on seats and the all-important virtual seats we want to understand the emotions from. Skype Media broadcast(SMB) allows us several options from Including a Questions and Answer panel, a direct Yammer feed so you can incorporate the business social network and the key one Microsoft Pulse. In the SMB you can have any two of these in combination.

Let’s focus on Microsoft Pulse, and in the words of Microsoft

“Microsoft Pulse is a voting app that’s integrated into Skype Meeting Broadcast. It enables meeting attendees to participate in the event in real time, which keeps them engaged and gives organizers up-to-date information about how event information is being received. With Microsoft Pulse, organizers can post questions that attendees respond to via their computer or mobile device. Response data is available immediately, so organizers can see trends and make changes to meeting content on the fly.”

Thankyou Microsoft, and the key words are:  Integrated, participate, real-time, engaged, up-to-date, immediately, trends, on the fly.

This two-way engagement is essential to a successful broadcast, forget about the talk and they will listen, it’s now Talk, Ask, Engage, Response, Adjust…

The key though is how you use Microsoft Pulse. You want as much feedback from your audience as possible, so you can see they are engaged and you can engage them. Pulse allows you to control the event by real time surveying of the audience, so when you reach a topic highlight you can push a related questemon (questions with emotion). Here you need to consider which question will drive audience emotion and gather the most data related the broadcast moment you have reached. This format is repeated for important key points and of course with the feedback you receive you need to adjust your continuation of the broadcast to tailor the feel of the audience. There is no point in asking and ignoring the audience passion, you need to adjust to the audience and continue to engage them.

Preparation before the event is important to identify the right questions based on the agenda but also to be ready to engage with instant questions to the audience from the presenter who may want to gather more feedback on the topic to drive the discussion further.

Is it all just about asking questions at key points, no this would become boring so in between you survey for the audience emotion which allows the audience to give constant feedback at regular voting intervals, i.e. did they agree at that moment in time, would they like to see more of the topic or extra input etc.

You are giving the virtual audience a voice to work with you to drive the event and its outcome. If 80% of the audience showed a response that they would like to know more on a topic, would you just ignore them or engage them.

Finally, all this great live data flying around its important the presenter can see the feedback and emotion and is easily displayed to the speaker via a tablet or a comfort monitor. The latter allowing for the communications team to also engage and highlight important points of the event.

So, are you ready for your next live broadcast to your employees, your customers, your social network? Take your next live event online to a new level Engage Engage Engage!