A Brief Guide to Audience Response System

A Brief Guide to Audience Response System
Wednesday, Apr 21, 2021

Presenters, instructors, and facilitators use audience response technology to turn passive listeners into active participants. Audience collaboration leads to sharing of ideas and interaction with each other, thus enhancing the value of group learning.

Participants process information in different ways. Interactive presentations, lectures, and training programmes do not consider the skills and attention spans of participants. Besides, participants constantly struggle with boredom, retention, and focus.

What is an audience response system?

An audience response system is a tool that combines hardware and software, enabling speakers to interact with participants and collect and analyze responses to questions.

Traditional - In a traditional setting, the presenter takes questions and lets the audience members answer questions with a show of hands. Here, the speaker’s assistant may record answers. Still, it is difficult to infer a collective response as it is time-consuming.

Button-based - This type of audience response system is used in offline events. If you remember ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’, the audience polling happens using buttons. The presenter can collect responses immediately.

Software-based - Software-based systems allow the audience to log in to the platform, attend events, and respond to questions that appear on the platform. It is relatively easier to integrate live Q&As, live polls, games, and other interactive feedback in cloud-based software.

Why use audience response technology?

The use of technology to drive interaction during an interactive presentation has successfully spawned the Audience Response Industry. Audience response systems tell the presenters if the audience is struggling with the topic or understanding it with a few questions. On the other hand, the audience can turn from passive listeners to active learners.

  • Engage with audience members and boost attentiveness.
  • Assess audience needs in real-time and tailor content accordingly.
  • Identify priorities and alternatives, and tabulate results for better decision making.
  • Track and measure meeting effectiveness.
  • Get input equally from extrovert and introvert audience members.
  • Get reactions during team meetings.
  • Reduce the learning curve for audience members with multiple learning styles simultaneously.
  • Learn about preferences.
  • Plan more effective programmes with pre and post-meeting assessments.

Who uses audience response systems?

The first audience response system was introduced in the 1960s to conduct market research and evaluate unreleased motion pictures. Advancements in communication technology, computers, and wireless devices have made audience response accessible and affordable (sometimes free).

Today, audience response systems are used by:

  • Schools and universities.
  • Consultant and professional facilitators
  • Market research companies
  • Local governments
  • Conferences and live events
  • Medical training facilities
  • Multi-location organizations
  • Corporations and startups
  • And more…

Ways to get audience response

Audience response systems usually involve wireless devices to transmit responses instantly to games, questions, polls, surveys, quizzes, and more. With a straight communication line, presenters can interact with their entire audience and display results in real-time on interactive presentation platforms like Audiencly.

The uses of audience response systems are many, but they often include the below mentioned ways

Electronic voting and polling: The audience clicks on a button to reveal their choices. Whether it is an informal polling or an official local government issue, you can get a collective response instantly without sparking a debate or compromising anonymity.

Assessment and feedback: Assessment and feedback can help presenters change and adapt to your audience instantly through polls. Assessments can help you gauge knowledge and demographic characteristics.

Pre and post meeting/event assessment: Pre and post-meeting assessments can help organizers to design better programmes by measuring attendee interest in speakers and topics.

  • Create feedback-generating opinion questions to automate your evaluations.
  • Create reports after sessions and events.
  • Store and share your data for action and analysis.

Training and learning: Electronic quizzing, polling, attendance can streamline and engage the educational environment. Instant communication can happen between students and their instructor too.

Market research: Marketers can get actionable insights from qualitative and quantitative data via multiple-choice, scalar, and text-based questions. Marketers can collect opinions of anonymous consumer test groups to make product and marketing better.

Gamification: Developing rounds of interactive challenge questions can enliven interactive presentations with friendly competition and creative thinking. Gauge information retention and subject mastery by using rewards and instant scoreboards.

Team building: Facilitate teamwork and interaction with brainstorming using electronically submitted solutions or ask questions to showcase opinions.

Case studies: Presenting real-life case study questions can spark critical thinking, engage the audience, present possible solutions, poll audience members on the best alternative, and then instantly display the results for discussion.

People learn by doing. The more you encourage the audience to participate, the better your audience will retain the information. Audience response systems make events and lectures more interesting as it also involves the audience in the discussion.

Have you tried a presentation + audience response system yet? Try Audiencly, a platform for live online polls and a Q&A app that takes your interactive presentation to the next level.