Rediscover remote engagement

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Engaging people remotely, when attention spans are outlasted by goldfish.

Have you ever been in, or hosted, a meeting where people are disengaged?  

According to Microsoft we now have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.  


Well, not quite. For those of us that read, watch films, or take part in sport, you’ll immediately notice that you can maintain your concentration and engagement levels for prolonged periods of time. Phew! Microsoft can keep their goldfish.

Microsoft may not be 100% right but working remotely is here to stay, so it’s important to be aware of the opportunities and the challenges of engaging our audience in this way. After a series of conversations with business leaders and business analysts across New Zealand and the UK we, at Redvespa, have identified three challenges to look out for when your next session:  

  • Distractions
  • Tool selection
  • Time commitment

So how might we turn these challenges into opportunities?

Addressing distractions

As many work from home, distraction comes in a variety of forms: from email to family to deliveries and beyond. These three recommendations can help you look out for, and address, these distractions.

  1. Add some ‘pause for thought’ slides for people to catch up, reflect, and consider the topic;  
  2. Involve your audience; try making your slides editable and using them like a whiteboard;  
  3. Give guidance and instruction throughout, keeping attendees up to date as you go.

Selecting the right tool

With some great tools available like Miro and Mural we recommend that you:

  1. Consider your audience before jumping into the ‘new and shiny’: find out their experience and motivation to learn;
  2. Sometimes sticking with what you’ve got is great too: try getting creative using voting and break out rooms;
  3. Practice on your own and in front of an audience, listening carefully to the feedback.

Reducing the time commitment

When you’re up against it, trying something new doesn’t feel like the way to go. Take some small steps:

  1. At the start of a workshop or meeting ask your audience what they want from the meeting;
  2. Find a co-host; a problem shared is a problem halved;
  3. Simplify your presentation; if you’re not sure what to put or a slide is too busy make it into a talking point to reduce your planning time and engage your audience.

These are three common challenges in interactive engagement but it doesn’t stop there. We’ve created a playbook that gives you tools and techniques to support you before, during, and after your remote sessions. We’d love to know how you get on applying the thinking to your own remote sessions.

If you’d like to hear more engage us on LinkedIn or drop us an email:

Connect with Keith Shering, our Head of Evolution, on LinkedIn or send him an email

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