I mean to comment on this excellent post form about How to Present While People are Twittering by Pistachio a while back. Over the last 9 months or so I’ve taken to having Twhirl running in the background to have a direct link to the audience whilst talking. As the original posts comments, it’s a great way to bring the back channel in to your presentation. I think I first did this at Thinking Digital last year and now do it in even the most serious of presentations…it can often lighten the mood 🙂
It can be quite disconcerting for your audience though so I always let people know what is gong on first as they start to see random “toasts” pop up in the bottom right of the screen whilst I’m talking. Once they know, it has some interesting effects. Here’s what I found
- You can get realtime feedback from the audience
- You can conduct impromptu surveys quickly and with some fun
- You can engage people who aren’t there in person
- You can get answers to your Q&A from the world 🙂 Very good when you don’t know the answer
- If you ask people to use a #hashtag, it’s a great way to check afterwards what people were saying during your session
There are many more benefits and much more discussed in the original post so check it out. Even better, give it a try yourself.