Teasing and backselling key content in any meeting or event Agenda will keep your audience engaged and on message.
Pretend you’re a radio DJ when you plan your next meeting or event and you’ll get incredible results and a highly engaged audience. This proven strategy is based on my time as an FM radio Announcer and 30+ years of hosting events.
For simplicity, imagine the Agenda that you’re planning has four basic blocks:
2. Keynote speaker
3. Panel Discussion
4. Q&A and CTA
(always include a “Call-to-Action”)
Using the “Radio Clock” as a model, what you’re going to do is keep people “listening” as you move forward through the Agenda, just as anon-air announcer keeps listeners tuned in throughout the hour. When I was a radio jock, we called this “Quarter Hour Maintenance”. This helped generate ad revenue, as a listener who tuned in two or more 15-minute quarters in any given hour boosted the station’s ratings.
Not every Agenda you craft will have just four blocks, and not every block with be equal in length, or specifically end on the quarter-hour mark. But, the strategy still applies, and will no matter what’s on your Agenda: C-Suite Opening Remarks, Fireside Chat, Entertainment, Awards, etc…
Keep your meeting or event audience thinking ahead and, at the same time, reinforce the key messages of the Agenda as you progress. Reinforcing key ideas as you advance through a detailed, heavy Agenda will help ensure people internalize messaging and get as much out of the event as possible.
So, at the top of the show, earn your audience’s TRUST by connecting with them on a personal level. Tease the fact that great songs, such as “PANEL and Q&A”, are coming up, plus there’s a chance to win prizes with trivia later! Remind people to mute their phones. Then share an IDEA you have about why the event is important to your audience as you introduce the hit song, “KEYNOTE”.
Quickly “backsell” coming out of the song “KEYNOTE” with a meaningful reflection on what it means to you, reinforce what you promised earlier, tease that the song “PANEL” is next, and then launch a fun, interactive contest as you head into the commercial break.
Coming out the break, remind people where you’re at with the Agenda, communicate the results of the interactive segment, tease the hit song, “Q&A” and prepare to listen for discussion that will validate your IDEA about the event as you introduce hit song, “PANEL”.
Finally, out of the song “PANEL” take questions from your “listeners”, convey how all of the Agenda blocks were connected to support your main IDEA, let people know when the next event is, and get them to take positive action on a key message.
If there were to be more on the Agenda, just keep sweeping those quarter hours until you’ve completed all blocks.
Make a commitment to this as your basic event infrastructure, matched with increasing your proficiency at writing and presentation. I’m confident this strategy will increase the success of your future meetings and events. After all, I’m not just another “great face for radio”.