As savvy presenters know, it pays to double-check all critical “production” elements before each speech. Your mic, projector, platform—it all paves the way for how well your audience perceives and absorbs your presentation.
So, what about making it easy for your audience to SHARE your content? Yes, today, it’s not uncommon to see audience members whipping out their cell phones during a speech. Don’t be offended. Be flattered. Chances are they’re sharing a talking point and crediting YOU on their network.
Help Attendees Who Tweet (“Tweetendees”)
Twitter is the most common network for socially-savvy attendees. All too often, that first Tweet requires that the attendee search for your name on Twitter, note your Twitter handle and follow you. Good luck if your Twitter handle is not intuitive or “sounds like” other Twitter users. Before you know it, the attendee has missed three minutes of your presentation.
- Shorten TweetTime – Post your Twitter handle and event hashtag on the first and last slide of your presentation. If the event planner tells you that no hashtag exists—create it on the spot. Keep it short. Do a quick search on Twitter to ensure it’s not taken. Then publish it to your slides. Not up on hashtags yet? Get a hashtag crash course.
- Declare it a Tweet-Safe Zone – Some Tweetendees may be afraid of offending, so may not Tweet as often as they’d like during your presentation. Again, they’re giving you free publicity. Make it easy! At some point, if it doesn’t interrupt the flow of your speech, point out your Twitter handle and the hashtag. Or, take a lesson from Patricia Fripp, who boldly makes eye contact with Tweetendees and states, “Tweet this!”… followed by her many words of wisdom. Yes, I learned that one, first hand. 🙂
- Tweet ahead of the event. Show your interest and engagement with attendees by Tweeting (with the hashtag) ahead of the event. This is a fantastic way to connect with your audience ahead of time and makes it easy for them to Tweet quickly when they arrive!
Engage With Your Audience
- Interact, don’t broadcast – There’s nothing more irritating to Tweetendees than an arrogant speaker on Twitter. All too often, speakers simply “announce” their arrival or schedule but never participate in the attendee buzz about the event. Rather than say, “About to present to XYZ Group,” try something like, “Looking forward to meeting my Tweeps at the XYZ Group Today! #hashtag” or open it up to replies with something like, “Who’s joining me at the XYZ conference today?”
- ReTweet attendees – Warm up the room before anyone’s even there! Get to know your audience and ReTweet the buzz about the event or useful content they’ve posted.
- Show gratitude after the event – Again, don’t assume that you have to operate “above” the crowd. Thank attendees on Twitter and share any spontaneous or memorable moments that you recall during the speech.
- Follow your Tweetendees – Use the event hashtag to create a list of Tweetendees using a tool such as TweetAdder. In just a few clicks, you’re connected with Tweetendees! Assuming they follow you back, you now have a captive audience for your content, articles and future events!