Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Keeping an Auditorium Audience Engaged


  • Pack ‘em in!  Rope off the back rows if you need to, but do whatever it takes to get the audience seated in the middle/front.  The closer you have the audience to one another, the more you can do with them and the more attention you will have.  The best way to do this is to not give them options.  Make it a requirement to sit in certain sections and not sit in other sections
  • Move ‘em!  Movement is obviously limited, but not totally gone. Here are a few ways I use movement in auditorium settings to get everyone physically, socially and actively engaged in the program:
  1. Random mingling. They can still stand up and meet/greet/discuss with a handful of people that are seated to their left/right/front/back.
  2. Teams. You can still get them into teams. The best set-up here is teams of six. Three people from one row and three people in the row behind or in front.
  3. Switch 'em. For a quick jolt, ask them to switch seats with someone. They can move as far as they want. Those who are really ready to be social will really move. Those who don't will just move one seat over. Either way, you accomplish your task.
  4. Pair share. Have them discuss with a person to their left, their right or in a different row.
  5. Big group movement. Find activities where everyone does the same thing and where that thing involves movement. I.e. - Simon Says, a camp song, etc. You find a good number of options at http://www.thesource4ym.com/.