Audience Participation

Monday Buzz: The Experimentation of Interaction

Why presenters need to let go of their concerns and embrace audience participation. Plus: membership insights from the world of public media.

“Perhaps the most pervasive concern I hear presenters raise when contemplating interaction is that they will lose control of the session,” Idea Architects CEO Jeffrey Cufaude writes in his latest blog post.

That worry, which in Cufaude’s experience is pervasive across the spectrum of public speakers, is a moot point. No matter the preconceived notions, he believes that control was never in the presenter’s hands to begin with.

“At any given moment, people are talking about unrelated topics, scanning the program book for the next session, buying something on their smartphone, or sneaking out early to get to lunch,” he reminds presenters, asserting that the belief in control is just “a false sense of security.”

To eliminate this faulty security blanket, Cufaude suggests thoroughly experimenting with audience participation to better pair presenter expertise and authority with audience dispositions, learning styles, and interests. With proper planning and practice, presenters can guide interactions with audiences toward the topics and discussions they desire, while still allowing for valuable input from the crowd.

“Only through experimenting will you glean what works with what learners and how to best structure the interaction for success,” he concludes.

For examples of how Cufaude puts his suggestions into practice, read his full post here.

Research of the Day


“Is there an alternative vision of membership that relies on relationships more than money?” Public media expert Melody Joy Kramer responds to that question in the intriguing culmination of her research as a Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow at the Nieman Foundation.

Other Good Reads

As Instagram matures and its popularity increases, so has the amount of money being thrown at the site by brands looking to influence users, a shift that Gigaom founder Om Malik explores in this blog post.

Even more writing on the wall for Adobe’s much-maligned Flash player: Yesterday, Facebook’s new Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos called for Adobe to set an end-of-life date, according to The Next Web‘s Mic Wright.

An alert for community managers: Maggie McGary‘s community-minded blog, Mizz Information, is moving to a new URL, and all her new posts with be published at


Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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