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How to Transform Your Shy and Introverted Meeting Participants into Valuable Contributors

Brandee Plott
Posted byBrandee Plott
on 08/21/18 02:31 PM

Brandee Plott is Director of Marketing at Educational Measures.

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Would you believe me if I told you that 50% of the population are introverts? It's true. This means at least half of your live meeting audience is introverted. To put it simply, you may be missing out on important feedback and insights from a large portion of your audience. Now, what if I told you that it's possible to turn your introverted attendees into some of your most valuable contributors? Even better, I'm going to show you how.

Understanding Your Introverted Audience

First, let's dive into the mind of an introvert. Introverts are not necessarily shy (they can be), but they do happen to process information internally. This means when they receive new information in a public meeting, they are not going to raise their hands and speak out into a crowd. Instead, they will quietly process, rehearse possibilities, consider many different options, and then make connections. Keep in mind, this all takes place inside their heads. Eventually, they arrive at a well-thought out conclusion or pose a number of highly relevant questions. These questions could be the exact insights you need to get the most from your meeting investment. Unfortunately, you may never get to hear them. Getting introverts to engage and ask their questions in a group setting is a challenge. How can you overcome this? Here's what you need to do:

Stop Putting Your Introverted Attendees on the SpotUntitled design

As a rule of thumb, don’t force your introverted attendees to stand up in front of the group to have their questions answered. If you do, you will miss out on valuable questions from at least half of the audience (maybe even more).

To liven up audience participation, forward thinking meeting planners have begun using a throwable microphone. But this is a mistake. The last thing your introverted attendees want to do is catch that ball. In fact, you are unnecessarily creating angst for at least half of the people in your meeting. 

Even if you ask your audience to raise their hand if they agree or disagree with a statement, this may cause discomfort. While these methods are well-meaning attempts to engage the entire audience, they often make introverted individuals feel even more isolated. The result? You get a one-sided view from only your extroverts.

Use Live Meeting Technology to Engage Introverted Participants

To overcome this challenge, don’t change your meeting goals. Instead, change your approach. The best way to engage your introverted audience is to provide them with interactive technology tools that enables participation without unnecessary pressure. 

Remember, introverts prefer to stay out of the limelight and process information internally. The introvert’s “dream come true” allows them to contribute, yet remain anonymous. Second screen audience engagement technologies like EM Array™ create an easy digital dialogue between meeting organizers, presenters and participants that provides this exact benefit.

With an iPad in hand, introverts and shy attendees can jot down notes as they process new information being presented. When they are ready, they can use digital “ask a question” features to communicate their questions without having to raise a hand or draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Their voice is heard without having to compete with a room full of extroverts. The best part? You won't be putting them on the spot so they will be excited to contribute. A win-win for everyone. 

Transform Your Meeting with Psychographics

Let's recap. Shy and introverted live meeting participants can be transformed into some of your most valuable contributors. To do this, you need to understand their unique communication needs and put the right meeting technology in their hands. As one of the top event technology trends, second screen interactive technology ensures that you engage every participant and capture every thought, question and interaction. These insights can significantly increase the return on investment for your live events. 

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