During your next presentation, odds are that some members of your audience are going to be broadcasting their commentary via Twitter.
Don’t just ignore this trend — use it to your benefit.
In an article for BusinessWeek, communications skills coach Carmine Gallo outlines some ways to incorporate Twitter into your presentations, taken from consultant Cliff Atkinson’s new book, The Backchannel.
These innovative strategies can help you engage your audience better, as well as give you a unique opportunity to tailor your presentation to their needs. Some suggestions:
- Initiate the online discussion: Including Twitter-related information in your title slide — title, speaker’s name, Twitter username, and event hashtag — will encourage your audience to “be in a relationship with you via Twitter,” which you can use later on to respond to them in real-time.
- Build Twitter-friendly messages: Include up to four 140-character messages that you would want people to post, relating to your company, yourself, or your presentation’s main ideas. Using these messages as slide titles increases the chance that people will tweet them.
- Take breaks for Twitter: At a few appropriate times during your presentation (exactly how many depends on the length of your presentation — Atkinson suggests up to three), you should step back from the slides, pull up your own Twitter stream, and addess some of the comments or questions your audience is tweeting.
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