Thursday, November 26, 2009

Present Interactively - Your Audience Expects It!

Ellen Finkelstein, the noted Presentation Guru, recently conducted a webinar with a catchy title: Present interactively — your audience expects it!

Everyone kind of knows that presentations should be interactive - this webinar showed how to do that. Ellen stressed that we need to keep the audience, not slides, as the focus of the presentation. Some of the ideas she presented were:

Interact before the presentation
Ideally, the interaction needs to start before the presentation. One can do some kind of surveys using sites or different tools such as surveymonkey and surveygizmo. Surveys help in understanding the audience.

Feedback loop
During the actual presentation, create a feedback loop – you speak, listen and let this continue throughout the presentation.

Menu-based presentations
Ellen explained as one can hyperlink different slides from the menu so that - based on the audience needs - one can navigate to specific slides.

Use of third party software
Ellen talked about YawnBuster – a software tool to engage the audience for group activities. She also showed how YawnBuster is used in a webinar mode by taking votes / new ideas in a brainstorm activity using the chat pod available. Ellen further demonstrated the use of Raptivity Presenter – another software tool to create interactive presentations.

Use of social media
Here Ellen referred to Twitter and other tools to create a backchannel for audience interaction: A concept I introduced in one of my earlier posts in this blog.

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