Using Social Media to Connect with Presentation Audiences
Many presenters fear that as they are talking the entire audience is going to be ignoring them and staring down at their phones. This is understandable, given that presenters put a lot of time and hard work into creating their presentation. The trick to solving this problem is to give audiences what they want. People love to be on their devices, sharing information and pictures of what they are doing. Therefore, presenters should use this to their advantage by incorporating ways in which audiences can engage in the presentation via social media. Let’s face it…it’s difficult for anyone to sit through and listen to an entire presentation without getting bored. People like to be engaged and entertained. They want to feel like they are part of the presentation. You can make this happen by using social media before, during, and after your presentation and here’s how.
Before the Presentation
- Share the Event
Using various social media channels, increase visibility about your presentation. Create a page dedicated to your presentation where you provide important information about the presentation. You can also use this page as a means to encourage people to ask questions ahead of time. Send personal Facebook invitations, Twitter direct messages, or message key attendees using LinkedIn. Make sure you include why, when, and where you will be presenting so they can make plans to attend.
- Use a Hashtag
If you are presenting as part of an event or conference, there’s a good chance that your event already has a hashtag. Otherwise, you can create one of your own. Share your hashtag with your contacts and encourage them to do the same.
- Post Teasers
In the days leading up to your presentation post slides of a few key points, interesting photographs, links to additional resources, or even video clips of the presentation to remind people about the presentation and entice them to want to hear more.
During the Presentation
- Encourage Social Media Use
One of the first things you should share with your audience is that you encourage them to use social media. You want them to share their comments about the presentation with their own networks. You want them to post pictures or video clips of your presentation. This allows you to reach a much broader audience and it gives you free publicity.
- Include Handle and Hashtag in Slides
What is the point of encouraging social media use if you don’t include where you can be found? Make sure your audience knows where they can find you such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. and make sure they include your hashtag when they post information about your presentation.
- Encourage Audience Members to Tweet Questions
Many people in the audience are bound to have questions but a lot of people don’t like asking them in front of a large group. This gives people the freedom to ask what they want and it’s a great way for you to address specific issues while engaging the audience.
- Record Your Presentation
Have someone record your presentation and post video clips to your social media channels. This is a great way to connect with people who might have been unable to attend.
After the Presentation
- Post Photos and Clips from the Presentation
Again, this allows you to reach those people who couldn’t attend. It is also a good way to refresh people’s memories about what they heard.
- Encourage Feedback and Questions
This is a chance for you to follow up with your audience and answer any questions they might have. It is also a great way to gather feedback from your audience.
- Thank People for Coming
Just as you sent social media invitations, you want to conclude your presentation by thanking people for coming.