Tips & tricks: Get quizzical

Survey questionnaire

The humble quiz can be a remarkably effective tool in helping presenters land the important messages.

A senior leader stands up to give a presentation. He’s good on his feet and thinks he can ad lib most of it. Before long, however, he drifts off topic and, in the end, fails to deliver the key messages. Sound familiar?

To help presenters stay focused on their topic and avoid waffle, and to make sure audiences take away the right set of messages, try using a quiz.

When you’re briefing presenters, ask them first to write down the three to five things they want their audience to think, know or feel about the topic. Then get them to come up with three to five corresponding questions with multiple-choice answers to be used to check that the audience ‘get’ what it is they want to get across. Inevitably, this forces presenters to focus their presentation on these topics – and ideally nothing else.

After the presentation, you hand out quiz papers to conference participants (or do it electronically via audience-interaction technology). Get participants to have a go at the quiz and then let them know the right answers. To make it fun, you can hand out prizes to those who scored top marks.

And for some more healthy competition among presenters at the event, you can even create a ‘presenter of the day’ award for the presenter whose audience performed best in the quiz.

It’s an approach we apply regularly at the events and conferences we design and run. We even use it on a grand scale to help measure employee engagement in an entire organisation.

It’s also a key feature of our new employee-engagement app, Engage. Through this new app, currently in beta trial, you can test knowledge and understanding across the workforce via their mobile devices.