Ways to Engage Your Audience – The Less Obvious Stuff

In “the basics” we looked at some of the more obvious ways to engage your viewers such as using quizzes, polls and showcase comments.  Here we will look at some of the other tools available to you that can get your audience ‘doing something’ while watching your presentation.


While adding links to your presentation may not seem like engagement, it can still be a useful tool to keep people interested and not feeling like they’re watching TV.  Choose a relevant point in your presentation and ask them to pause the video and click the Information button at the bottom of the screen.  You could send them to your website, to another website to do research (which they then need to email to you or will appear on an upcoming quiz), or maybe to an external survey you’d like them to complete.  Any web address can be added, you just need to decide what’s applicable to your audience.

Sharing Presentations

Depending on the nature of your presentation you may like to enable the Share Presentation option.  This feature allows viewers to forward the URL to other people, for example, other staff within their organization.  They also have the option to bookmark specific points in the presentation for sharing as well, so when the recipient receives the URL it will play from the bookmarked location.  This is really helpful in longer presentations when you want to highlight a section for viewing.

Search Functions

One of the core features of Mediasite is the ability to find content relevant to the participant, whether it be in the presentation or in your catalogue or showcase.  Rather than having to watch an hour or more of a presentation just to find that one bit of information you really need (especially helpful when doing revision), you can use the built in search feature to get to the point of interest.  The results will be displayed showing where in the presentation the keyword appears with an option to click on the link to be taken to that exact point.  This eliminates the need for viewers to scroll along hoping they eventually find the right section.

Searching for presentations within catalogues and showcases is a simple process that eliminates the need to read every presentation title, and in some cases descriptions or presenter names, to find exactly what you want.

Hands on Demonstrations

Ok, so this one isn’t a Mediasite feature, but it is a really easy way to keep people interested.  If you’re doing a screencast showing how to use a piece of software or navigate a website for example, ask your audience to perform the steps along with you.  If you’re showing them how to do something that they could try at home or in their workplace suggest that they switch over to a mobile device and practice while watching the video.  They can use the pause button if they get a little behind or scroll back to re-watch a section that didn’t make sense.  This is a great option for those who use video for teaching and training, and gives your viewers the opportunity to learn by watching and doing.

Post Presentation URL

Finally one last tool!  If you’d like your audience to go and do something after viewing your presentation then try using the post presentation URL feature to add a message and tie it to a URL.  When the video reaches the final 10 seconds the message will pop up as an overlay prompting the viewer to take action.  This is a great time to direct them to your website to take a survey telling you how much they enjoyed the interactivity provided within your presentation.


And there you have it, a bunch of ways to engage your audience using both obvious participation tools as well as using the platform to help you get them paying attention.  If you’re using any of the tools we’ve talked about consider creating a short How To video to show your participants how to access things like the Q&A speech bubble, the polls, links you’ve included, and search features.  A tutorial like this can add to the chance of your audience using Mediasite as an interactive platform rather than just any other video they press play on and tune out to.  As we mentioned, if you’re unsure of how to use any of these features please get in contact with us for some training.