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Twittering Presentations
Twittering Presentations

Twittering Presentations

So, what are your thoughts?  Earlier this year, it was with mixed feelings that I attended the first PowerPoint presentation where someone had Twitter running live alongside.

On one hand, for those who do not prescribe to the notion of Presentation Zen (by Garr Reynolds), this is great.  Not only may you have 7 bullets with 9 point font keeping your slide busy, you can have scrolling conversations going on at the same time, too!  On the other hand, I thought, Cool!  What a great way to interlace new media with old.

When executed effectively as a constructive component of the presentation, having a filtered Twitter feed in direct support of the presentation can be a powerful complement.  For those of you not quite up to speed on this, imagine (assuming you’re up on ‘IM’) having your entire audience using IM (instant messaging) to discuss your presentation.  With Twitter, this can be effectively done by using a (hash)tag specific to your event, and then having your Twitter feed viewer (e.g. TweetDeck) display only messages with the selected tag.

The effect can be electrifying for those involved.  For the presenter, he or she can adjust their presentation dynamically by skimming comments as they’re being posted.  Better yet, by casually monitoring the comments scrolling down the screen, questions can be answered in the flow of the presentation, streamlining the after-event Q&A session.

But, as a jury of one, I’m still out for deliberation.  In recent months I’ve seen a handful of presentations where Twitter’s been running live on the screen.  I’ve also done so myself.  What I’ve seen seems to fall into two camps.  There are those who have clearly practiced with it, figured out how to use it in their presentations, and the overall ‘package’ comes together positively.  The other camp, seems to simply be the technically proficient that want to prove, ‘they can do it too,’ yet it adds no value to their message.

Moving forward, I have zero doubt we will continue to see more of this sort of real-time presentation mashup, if you will.  My question to you is, what are your thoughts about using a live Twitter feed as part of a PowerPoint (or similar) presentation?  I’ll be happy to follow up further in a future post.  Do you have any experiences of your own to share?


  1. George Henderson Jr

    This sounds like a very good idea as long as it contributes to the presentation and not merely a “this is cool” addition. I see where live feed data would enhance a presentation since people can send their questions or comments instantly and the responses could benefit everyone involved in the discussion. I would like to hear from others since this is new to me.

    1. JT

      Hello George,

      Most of the comments I’ve seen in response, yours here, or others via other mediums, have been similar to your own. If it’s a constructive aid, fine. But don’t do it just to show how hip you are or because it’s ‘cool.’


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