If you’re aspiring to move beyond your current role, you’re likely looking for ways to be seen as innovative, progressive, and ‘fresh.’ Which means, odds are, if you’re a business leader, event planner, meeting facilitator, or similar, you’re always watching for new ways to make them better.
If your life revolves around using PowerPoint or Keynote, how can you do better? Yes, you can add snazzy graphics, spinning tops, and whiz-bang animation. And if you do, you’ll likely just come across as someone using distracting, confusing, dizzying images. One way to avoid this latter problem, is to take a look at Garr Reynold’s book, Presentation Zen.
You’ve likely heard of this thing called social media. You’ve also likely noticed it’s just about ‘everywhere.’ Even if the majority of the country still doesn’t understand it (Fast Company found, ’…69% of U.S. adults still have no idea what it is.’), they’ve likely been exposed.
And, therein lies the opportunity—to begin showing the relevance to your audience, to your organization. Demonstrate the value.
Here’s one way to do it—and have some fun at the same time: Use Twitter during your presentation for dynamic feedback and for soliciting audience questions.
There are a number of solutions available. Just search on the string, “how to use twitter with powerpoint” in Bing or Google. Many of the results show solutions with a specific focus, such as how to do a live poll of your audience and display it in PowerPoint or Keynote.
The easiest solution I’ve seen so far, simply uses TweetDeck and a dual-monitor set up. Set up PowerPoint so it is using Presenter View on your primary screen (e.g. laptop display), and the audience display on the second screen. Next, narrow the TweetDeck window so only a single column is displayed visible and set it off to one side on the audience screen (see image below).
Here’s why you need to operate PowerPoint in Presenter View mode: If you advance slides by clicking on the audience screen, the presentation (like any application) will become the ‘active’ window, be brought to the front of the display list (on top of all applications), and hide TweetDeck. However, if you launch the presentation, then put TweetDeck on top of the slideshow, you can run the presentation via the Presenter View and it will leave TweetDeck displayed as in the image.
(If you don’t want tweets scrolling while you talk, then simply move TweetDeck to the primary screen, out of view. You’ll still be able to skim comments).
What else do you know for this to be successful? Create a hashtag specific to your discussion and let attendees know it exists. Then, using the #hashtag in their tweets, you can have your TweetDeck column set to filter out everything except tweets using your hashtag. Now you have a semi-exclusive discussion forum for your attendees. (Ideally, you’ll let them know the hashtag exists as soon as possible, but you can always do it right at the start of your presentation. Some conferences do this ahead of time enabling discussions to start even before the event itself is underway.)
This is just one approach toward more directly engaging your audience and building a stronger sense of community. Certainly, you need to practice, and you can only do it live. But you’ll be learning together with your participants.
What other examples, tying social media into presentations, have you seen (successful or not). Interested in hearing.