Making Presentations While the Audience Twitters Away…02.24.09

24 02 2009

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The Librarian By Day has a very relevant post today about a topic all presenters today will appreciate titled Presenting during the Age of Twitter in which she relates the following helpful insights for presenters:

“If you’ve been presenting for a while you know that Twitter has changed the audience.

  • Presenting pre-Twitter – you saw a sea of faces looking at you
  • Presenting during the age of Twiter – you see a sea of heads looking at laptops or smart phones

It can be disconcerting if you’re not used to it.  Pistachio has a great article on How to Present While People are Twittering covering topics such as

Benefits of the back channel to the audience- As a presenter, the idea of presenting while people are talking about you is disconcerting. But to balance that, there are huge benefits to the individual members of the audience and to the overall output of a conference or meeting

What about the speaker? Yes, presenting with the back-channel is challenging. Prepare yourself for what it will be like. We’re used to having eye contact with our audience and using that eye contact and audience reaction to measure how well we’re engaging the audience. Now when you say something brilliant, instead of nods of appreciation, there will be a flurry of tapping.

Managing the back channel – We used to suffer in silence through bad presentations. Today, the audience is now connected. They get to know that others are suffering too – and that changes the way they react.”

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