You know the feeling, don’t you? Your speech is brilliant… packed full of instantly-usable content… you know without a doubt that you will ROCK your audience today.
And then it happens.
Just before you’re introduced, you look out over the audience… and realize… at least half of those people are messing around on their freakin’ phones ! Argghhhhh.
Nowadays, our success (or failure) at being effective presenters can be hugely impacted by how well we use social media as a tool to engage those distracted people in the audience. My hope with this and future posts is to give you some helpful ways to do that.
Technique #1 ~ Share Your Tweetables!
Hall of Fame Speaker Patricia Fripp is well-known for her “Frippicisms” — short, pithy nuggets of public speaking & sales wisdom that she shares with the audience.
During her presentations, Patricia encourages attendees to post on social media using the hashtag #FrippVT, which is the name of her virtual training community.
Here’s an important point… she doesn’t just mention it at the beginning of her speech. She reminds participants throughout the presentation. Every once in a while, you’ll hear her tell the audience, “Tweet this!” and the wording and hashtag are visible on her PPT slide up on the screen for people to copy.
I love this because Fripp is making it super-easy for people in the audience to participate. It allows them a quick way to take notes that they can go back and review later. She even gets an extra boost in visibility as attendees — and non-attendees — retweet & share her Frippicisms and post ‘thank-you’ messages afterwards. Add all this to the additional visibility her online community gets via the #FrippVT hashtag, and we’ve got a fantastic example of how to get distracted participants involved! (To see a few of Fripp’s hundreds of Frippicisms, click here.)
Technique #2 ~ Pull Out That Selfie-Stick!
First… if you don’t have a selfie-stick, go buy one. Seriously. You can find one on Amazon for around $10.
Accredited Speaker, Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, is the best selfie-stick-wielding-speaker I know! She takes it everywhere, and her workshop attendees benefit greatly from it.
Taking photos is not just a fabulous way to develop rapport and have fun with your audience — you can use the activity as a teaching tool, as well. Figure out a way to incorporate the activity into your presentation or group work. Perhaps use it as a metaphor or analogy in a story. Be creative!
Sometimes, at the end of a presentation, Eldonna will broadcast live via Facebook. Her attendees get to act goofy while she talks about how great they are or shares tips about her niche topic, negotiation skills. As with Fripp, Eldonna uses a unique hashtag (#iNegotiate) whenever she posts. The FB viewers get to see what kind of trainer she is (umm… SUPER-FUN!) and the visibility she brings to the event is always much-appreciated by the meeting planners.
Bottom line . . .
What it really comes down to is grabbing — and keeping — the attention of our audience, right? Whether it’s incorporating social media, games, stories, or activities, it’s our responsibility as speakers to make it happen. The fun part is coming up with new & unique ways to do it!
What techniques have you used to engage your audience members when they’re too busy tweeting to pay attention? Share your thoughts below!
Known by some in the speaking industry as “the Butterfly Herder,” Cynthia works closely with emerging professional speakers as they grow from speaking as a hobby to getting paid to speak full-time. In addition to creating websites for professional speakers, she consults in the areas of online presence & credibility, public relations, and content & product creation. Visit her website at www.SpeakerWebsites.com.