As a speaker/presenter/facilitator in this now entirely virtual world, to exponentially increase your odds of delivering a flawless virtual event, you need a buddy system. If you have 6 or more people on a virtual call and/or utilize Breakout Rooms, it behooves you to have a Host/Co-Host on the call with you. As the speaker, you need to be present at the moment in order to interactively engaging your audience from the moment the room goes live. I learned this first hand this week as I helped host a 3-hour facilitation for a motivational speaker. By working together we delivered an elevated level of experience for both the audience and the meeting organizer. It’s important to not assume that the meeting organizer will be your de factor meeting Host/Co-Host. Especially if you are delivering curated content, practicing timing and handoff with your Host/Co-Host before the event, creates a natural flow and will help maximize the delivery of your message. And, when you make the meeting organizer look good there’s a chance you’ll secure additional gigs. As a Host/Co-Host, I elevate your event and the audience experience by: Managing Microphones – To avoid unnecessary background noise your Host/Co-Host will manage the turning on and off of microphones. I am sure by now most people have seen or heard about the woman who took her virtual audience to the bathroom. A conscientious Host/Co-Host would have muted her microphone but even more importantly, turned off her camera. During Q&A sessions your Host/Co-Host will “run” the microphone’s for you by teeing up people from the audience to ask questions when they raise their virtual hands or request to ask a question through Q & A or Chat. Monitoring Chat/Q&A– Chat is a goldmine of communication. As the speaker, it is impossible to speak/facilitate and monitor the Chat conversations. Your Host/Co-Host will be able to field questions to which they know the answer, distill the information that is coming in and surface question/comments at the right time. By having someone monitor the chat box your audience feels “heard”, is kept engaged and many times you’ll get even more participation then oral questions alone as Chat provides a medium where participants who would not normally speak up verbally can communicate via text. Addressing Technical Issues – It is not a matter of if but when an audience member will experience a technical issue, your Host/Co-Host will be able to address them in real-time without disrupting the general session.
Managing Breakout Rooms – If your training/facilitation/keynote/presentation calls for Breakout Rooms, and as the speaker, you intend to actively participate, then a Host/Co-Host is a must. During the recent virtual training, I helped host, I experienced several occasions where people in the Breakout Rooms were reaching out to the main room for further assistance and clarity. As the Host/Co-Host, I was able to assist them and keep the meeting on track. By having a Host/Co-Host in the main room, participants returning from their Breakout Rooms know they are in the right place. The Host/Co-Host is able to engage the audience and maintain their interest until the speaker returns from visiting Breakout Rooms. If participants return to an empty main room, they are likely to be distracted by something shiny, like their phones or worse, leave the meeting. Elevate your virtual event and your virtual brand by utilizing me as your Host/Co-Host. I’ve Got Your Back. At Your Service, Keith MJ Bailey firstname.lastname@example.org Preventing Audience Abuse Since 2017