Virtual Presentations & Meetings: Anders Boulanger
In this podcast episode, Anders Boulanger, the founder and CEO of Engagify, discusses the challenges and importance of engagement in virtual meetings.
He shares his background as a performer and how he learned to engage audiences through magic and street performing.
Anders explains how his company helps improve engagement in virtual meetings and highlights the challenges that arise in this format. He emphasizes the importance of grabbing attention quickly, using pattern interrupts and contrast, and maintaining energy and authenticity.
Anders also provides tips for making staff meetings and sales presentations more engaging.
The episode concludes with George Torok highlighting Anders' expertise in engagement and inviting listeners to come back for more practical insights.
The importance of a strong first impression [00:00:00]
Starting off on the right foot and making a good first impression is crucial for effective communication.
Challenges of virtual meetings and the need for engagement [00:02:07]
Engagify helps companies and sales teams improve engagement in virtual meetings, addressing challenges such as lack of energy and proficiency with the platform.
Creating engagement through pattern interrupt and contrast [00:09:51]
Using techniques like pattern interrupt and creating contrast can help capture and maintain audience attention in both physical and virtual settings.
The importance of contrast in virtual engagement [00:10:43]
Contrast is key to keeping people engaged in virtual meetings, as it provides something new and keeps them off balance.
Being yourself and revealing your personality [00:11:45]
Authenticity and allowing your true personality to come out is more engaging than trying to be someone else or an extrovert.
Tips for making staff meetings more enjoyable [00:13:56]
Leading by example, delivering 33% more energy, standing up for better posture and voice projection, and maintaining eye contact with the camera can make staff meetings more enjoyable and engaging.
Using split screens to enhance visual presentations [00:21:13]
Anders discusses the benefits of using split screens during virtual meetings to improve engagement and build trust.
The importance of performance in virtual presentations [00:22:27]
Anders and George discuss how performance plays a critical role in how content is received and the need for presenters to invest in themselves and their equipment.
Starting strong and creating connection in presentations [00:28:57]
Anders shares tips from his experience as a magician, emphasizing the importance of starting strong and finding moments to connect with the audience during presentations.
The importance of engagement and taking risks [00:31:18]
Anders Boulanger discusses the significance of engagement and the need to take risks in order to create meaningful connections.
Introduction to Anders Boulanger [00:32:08]
George Torok introduces Anders Boulanger as a specialist in engagement and highlights his message of being engaging and doing no harm.
Closing remarks and invitation to return [00:32:33]
George Torok concludes the episode by inviting listeners to come back every week for more practical insights on delivering their intended message.
Mastering Virtual Engagement: Insights from Anders Boulanger
In this episode of the podcast "Your Intended Message," I had the pleasure of interviewing Anders Boulanger, the founder and CEO of Engagify. Anders is a seasoned performer with a rich background in walk-around magic and street performing. He has leveraged his experience in engaging audiences to create Engagify, a company dedicated to improving engagement in virtual meetings.
The Challenges of Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings present unique challenges, such as conveying energy and mastering the platform. Anders introduced the concept of the 'engagement gap,' where communicators may not realize the message they are sending and how it is received. Factors like camera angles and lack of training can affect engagement. On the receiving end, people are often busy and easily distracted, making it crucial to raise the engagement bar.
The Power of First Impressions and Engagement
Anders emphasized the importance of grabbing attention quickly, whether in a trade show or virtual meeting scenario. He believes that a combination of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements contributes to how people perceive and engage with a message. Teasing what's to come and building up the value of the content can help maintain engagement. He also suggested using pattern interrupts and creating contrast to disrupt expectations and keep audiences interested.
The Role of Personality in Engagement
Anders addressed the question of whether one needs to be an extrovert to be effective at engaging others. He believes that while being an extrovert can be helpful, it's more about giving people permission to be themselves and allowing their authentic personalities to shine through.
Tips for More Engaging Meetings
When asked for tips on making staff meetings more enjoyable, Anders suggested leading by example and delivering 33% more energy than initially thought. He shared a personal experience of recording videos and realizing that he needed to bring even more energy to engage viewers effectively. He also recommended standing up during virtual meetings to improve posture, breathing, and voice projection. Additionally, he advised getting eye level with the camera to maintain eye contact and connection with the audience.
Engaging Prospects in Sales Presentations
In the context of sales presentations, Anders acknowledged the challenge of engaging prospects who may not turn on their cameras. He suggested using logical arguments to encourage them to turn on their cameras, emphasizing the importance of visual communication. He also mentioned the use of visuals, such as slides, and recommended using software like OBS to enhance the presentation experience.
The Importance of Technology in Virtual Meetings
Anders discussed the challenges of screen sharing during virtual meetings and how it can slow down the flow of communication. He suggested using a split screen feature to have slides displayed alongside the speaker. This allows for seamless transitions between visuals and personal expression. He emphasized the importance of effortlessly changing visuals during presentations to maintain engagement and instill confidence in prospects.
Taking Risks to Foster Engagement
Anders reflected on how our obsession with technology and being absorbed in our own worlds has hindered our ability to engage with others. He believes that we need to challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zones and put ourselves out there to see if people will respond positively to what we have to offer. He encourages listeners to be that person and take risks in order to foster engagement.
Anders Boulanger's expertise in engagement and virtual meetings provides valuable insights for anyone looking to improve their virtual communication skills. His message of being engaging and doing no harm resonates with the current shift towards virtual interactions.
Remember to like, comment, and share if you enjoyed this post, and come back every week for more practical insights to help you effectively deliver your intended messages.