Kelly Vandever - Communications for Everyone

Twitter – The Presenter’s New Best Bud – Part 8 – Making the Most of Twitter During the Presentation

In Twitter & Presenting on February 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm

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Gee, looking back over the last 7 posts (has it really gone on this long?) it’s a bit like expecting a new baby.  There’s a lot of preparation and fuss during a pregnancy just like there’s a lot of fuss and preparation to prepare an audience to tweet.  But just like with a pregnancy the most important part is the baby, so too with your presentation in that the most important element is your content.  Let’s not forget that!

So you’ve set the tone, told the audience what to tweet, and got your moderator set up and ready.  Then you deliver your presentation with the same vim and vigor that your topic deserves.  You take the occasional Twitter break to get the audience’s feedback… so what else is there?

Sound Bites – In Tweety Words or Less

Go through your content and ask yourself what your key messages are.  What elements of your presentation do you consider tweet-worthy?  What would bring the most value to your audience if they believed or did what you espouse?  Now, how could you say that phrase … in 100 characters or less?

Why 100 Characters

As mentioned in previous posts, you want your audience to tweet using the event hashtag and your session hashtag.  Ideally, you also want them to include your Twitter handle to give you credit for the wisdom you share.  I did the math for my speech tomorrow at SoCon.  #Socon11 #Tweetrt @kellyvandever – is 32 letters!  32 letters are already “spoken for” of the 140 characters before the audience even tweets one question or retweets a fabulous comment.  So as I review my material, I look for places in my slides where I might add a tweet-worthy phrase – and generally, if I keep it to 100 characters or less, there’s still room for hashtags and Twitter IDs.

For example, here are some tweety-worthy phrases what I came up with for the SoCon11 presentation –

Tweet Unto Others as You Would Have Them Tweet Unto You @CliffAtkinson – 70 characters

Make hashtag memorable enough to stick – 38 characters

Don’t make your hashtags so long there’s no room for tweetable content. – 71 characters

Be tweetable in 100 characters or less – 39 characters

Continue answering audience questions on Twitter until they’re all answered. – 78 characters

Tweets will tell you what’s inside your audiences’ minds. – 57 characters

Hopefully, the audience will gain other great knowledge that they will find tweet-worthy as well.  The tweets will tell the ultimate tale!

Invite the Audience to Keep the Conversation Going

How often in a presentation do you wish you could cover more material?  Or have you had to end the session before all the questions got answered because of time constraints?  Before ending your presentation, invite the audience to keep the conversation going by letting them know how they can stay connected.  Answer their questions on your website or blog.  Tweet answers to the questions that didn’t get answered in the session.  Ask them to tweet any additional questions they might have.

When you’ve connected with an audience and engaged them with your content, how great would it be to keep the conversation going even after you’ve all left the room?  (Pretty great I think!)

What’s Next?

Next week, I’ll be practicing what I preach after my SoCon11 speech, Tweet Me Right – The Presenter’s Guide to Killer Audience Interaction Using Twitter. On the blog, I’ll copy all the tweets that happen during the session.  I’ll post answers to the questions, both those that we answer in the room and those we don’t get time to answer.  I’ll invite you to participate too.

I don’t expect my breakout session at SoCon11 to be huge.  But hopefully we’ll get enough Twitter chatter going to make for an illustrative blog next week!

Until then, deliver your next message well!

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