The benefits of using an Audience Response System and how to introduce it to your audience

Your audience is new to an Audience Response System (ARS )? Here’s how everyone warms up to your technological offering.

Having an ARS is, in some regards, a bit like having a social media profile. It’s not enough to have it – you have to use it well.

Areas of application for AR systems are versatile. They can be used to question students in lectures or to support speeches and presentations at a conference. Even events such as live music festivals could adopt them – e.g. for asking the audience what kind of song they would like to hear as an encore.

The biggest advantage of an ARS is obvious: you can engage and interact with the entire audience, no matter the size. For some programs it makes sense to include spectators in order to cater to their needs. Is everything clear? What should be covered more, what less?

For other fields of application, it’s not necessary to engage your audience, but it’s a nice-to-have. Need to break things up a little? Give everyone a breather? Just get an impression of how people are doing? By using an ARS, you give everyone a focus break.

Diplomacy in practise? The meaning of time and reaction

What is crucial with the use of an ARS is reacting to the result. You enquired about your audience’s mood and they are getting bored? Then you should swiftly tweak your agenda. Failing to do that will lead to frustration and demotivation among the audience, for they are expecting a reward for their compliance.

What if I use an ARS but cannot react accordingly to the response of my audience? You can avoid this easily by preparing your answers. If you don’t give people a blank space, but a fixed set of options to choose from, the results won’t take you by surprise.

An experience gap between presenter and audience leads to a common mistake: the assumption that everyone will get it at once. If you have been using your ARS of choice for months, certain things might be obvious to you. But not to someone using it the first time. Guide people through it slowly and, even more importantly, schedule enough time for their replies. A time span of between 30 and 40 seconds per question is recommended – and that is not including evaluation of the results.

You have questions? Feel free to always get in touch with our team!