Did you know that approximately 50% of the population are introverts? The actual ratio based on the first official random sample by the Myers-Briggs organization in 1998 showed Introverts 50.7% and Extroverts 49.3% of the USA.
Males are 45.9% extrovert and 54.1% introvert. Females are 52.5% extrovert and 47.5% introvert.
Since half your audience is introverted, it is vitally important to consider their unique needs in your meeting planning, especially in the use of technology.
Understanding Your Introverted Audience
To fully understand the importance of audience engagement technology in the hands of introverts, think about the mind of an introvert. Introverts are not necessarily shy, they just happen to process information internally. When they receive new information in a public meeting, they are not going to raise their hands to process out loud with you and 50 or 100 other people. They will quietly process, rehearse possibilities in their minds, consider many different options and make connections with other ideas in their mind. Eventually they will arrive at a well-thought out conclusion or pose a number of highly relevant questions.
Stop Putting Your Introverted Attendees on the Spot
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 questions from at least half of the audience, if not more.
To liven up audience participation, forward thinking meeting planners have begun using a throwable microphone. But once again, the last thing your introverted attendees want to do is catch that ball. You are unnecessarily creating angst for at least half of the people in your meeting.
Even when you simply ask the audience to raise their hand if they agree or disagree with a statement, the same feelings erupt in an introvert. Extroverts will feel more comfortable raising their hands; introverted attendees likely won’t want to be publicly recognized. You end up getting a one-sided view of the audience’s opinion.
Using Live Meeting Technology to Engage Introverted Participants
While these methods are well-meaning attempts to engage the entire audience, they often make introverted individuals feel more isolated. To overcome this challenge, utilize tools that can engage your entire audience rather than just a part of it. Don’t change your meeting goals, simply change your approach.
Introverts prefer to stay out of the limelight and process information internally. The introvert’s “dream come true” is live meeting, audience engagement technology. EM Array™ creates a digital dialogue between presenter and participants that allows for anonymity.
With an iPad in hand, the introvert can jot down notes as they process new information being presented. When they are ready, they can use the digital “ask a question” feature to propose a question without having to raise a hand or draw unnecessary attention to themselves. When the audience is polled, their voice is heard without having to compete with a room full of extroverts. They simply select their answer on the iPad and they are immediately counted.
EM Array ensures that you engage every participant and capture their thoughts. Don’t miss out on the intelligence and depth of half your audience. Without live meeting engagement technology, you may never get an accurate view of the deliberation, reflection and depth of the introvert mind.