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Scoring in-person audience engagement through video footage analysis
Imagining how to provide speakers and performers with insightful feedback
Originally posted on Medium here.
Speaking to a large audience
Speaking to a large group is stressful. Something you can leave thinking things went horribly, when you couldn’t be more wrong. If you’ve spoken in front of a large group before, then you know what if feels like to not know what your audience thinks. While delivering your message, you can become so focused on one person, that you misinterpret the group as a whole. The one person texting or falling asleep can influence how you read the audience.
You could completely misunderstand the audience.
Image what it would look like to be able to record and reflect on your audience, based on what you say.
Quantifying the audience
First: Take a video camera or cell phone and plop it facing your audience. Have the camera film your audience during your segment of speaking or performing.
Second: Take the recorded footage and drop it into some non-existent, but feasible, software that analyzes each audience member’s face and body over time. The software could designate each person a score for their emotional state and level of engagement. Based on the scoring, timelines of scores could be generated for each person and the audience as a whole.
Third: Summaries from the scores can be turned into recommendations or insights for the speaker/performers to take into consideration. Based on these recommendations, a feedback based improvement cycle can be developed for speakers/performers, and a quantifiable score could be attributed to each audience.
All of the software to implement this is readily available.
Imagine knowing how many audience members stayed for the entire time you spoke? Imagine knowing when people were most engaged or most disengaged. Reviewing footage is one thing, but being able to compare your results to previous engagements would be priceless.
Who would care
If it existed as a service, large venues could offer the insights as a service. Comedians could use the results to help refine their craft. Corporate speakers and salesmen, who travel on behalf of their company, could provide quantifiable results based on their group sessions.
Thoughts, concerns, or comments?
This is an idea. I’d love to know what you think.