Tapping Into The Voting Audience

Leila Lopes, Miss Universe 2011, voted into the top 16 by the viewing audience.

Audience engagement has become big business in pop culture.  American Idol. America’s Got Talent. Dancing with the Stars. And just recently: Miss Universe.

For the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant, the viewing audience could vote for their favorite contestants to advance them into the semi-finals.  From there, voting was conducted by the judges, but fans could still chime in.

Involving a voting audience has become a mainstay in popular culture, a means of building engagement and boosting ratings.  I wondered how we could harness audience enthusiasm in training.

I’ve produced several meetings in a box for work.  The basic idea of these interventions: use the organization’s leaders to deliver training seminars for their teams.  These meetings generally benefit from leaders learning the meeting content first: a challenge for busy managers and directors who are constantly beset with several levels of priorities, most of which are considered more important than training.

The idea:

  1. Create three unique job aids for each meeting in a box. These are job aids that would be delivered to the employee during the meeting.
  2. Share the job aids with the leaders who will be delivering the training. Give them a page summary of what the meeting-in-a-box will be about.
  3. Ask the leaders to vote on which job aid:
    • Best communicates what employees need to know.
    • They believe their employees can/will use to do their job.
    • Is most visually appealing.

4.  Whichever job aid they approve is used in the official training.

What do you think? Would this positively impact training? Would it engage the leaders facilitating the training, making them more invested in the material?  Can you think of other ways in which audience voting could engage participants?

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