Each day there are thousands of presentations being heard across the country, but how many of those are actually invigorating and capture the attention of their audience? The harsh reality is that most audience members would agree that they are zoned out during many presentations. This begs the question: How do we transform people from bored spectators to active participants? In this day and age presenters are competing with texts, internet browsing, email, and social media for the attention of their audience. Rather than looking into the eyes of an engaged audience they are string at heads looking down with fingers swiping. In order to recapture their audience, presenters must find intriguing ways to get their attention. Social media is a powerful interactive tool that can help presenters engage with their audience. Here are a few ways that presenters can incorporate social media into their presentation.
Market Your Presentation Ahead of Time
With the help of social media, you can start getting your audience interested before they ever even step foot in the auditorium. If you have a personal blog or website, you can post videos, blurbs, or images relating to your presentation to advertise what you will be talking about. This will give your audience an idea of what’s to come and peak their interest a little. You can also use Twitter to give a few details about your presentation including date, time, location, and a brief description. Finally, you can create an event page on Facebook with details and pictures and use this page to invite relevant contacts.
Create a Hashtag
Create your own unique hashtag to encourage discussion amongst your audience. You can include your hashtag on all of your pre-presentation forums such as your Facebook page and website. You can also incorporate it into your slideshow and ask audience members to use it to interact with one another. A great way to do this is to have it displayed on a slide while people are trickling in and waiting for you to begin.
Don’t forget to Tweet
Twitter is a great social media channel where you can push out punchy key ideas to your audience. You can also encourage your audience to tweet their own responses using your custom hashtag. You can also maximize engagement with your audience by pre-loading some tweets via dashboards like TweetDeck or Hootsuite, where you can schedule tweets ahead of time and have them sent out at a designated time. Furthermore, you can amp up your question and answer session by asking audience members to submit any questions via Twitter using your custom hashtag. This allows you to solicit questions from both people in the audience and Twitter, a great way to include those audience members who might otherwise be too shy to ask questions.
Follow Up After the Presentation
Your conversation doesn’t have to end just because you walk off stage. Through the use of various social media platforms, you can push out links to various resources that will further enrich your presentation. This is also a great way to gather audience feedback so you can improve for your next presentation.