How to Use Twitter to Supercharge Presentations

Learn how to use social media to leverage and enhance your presentations through presentweeting

Lisa B. Marshall
5-minute read
Episode #90

How Presenters Can Use Twitter

The most obvious way to supercharge a presentation is to tweet links to relevant additional materials.

The biggest problem I had was that it was difficult for me, as the presenter, to directly participate in the backchannel conversation. So, I started using a partner to enter my tweets and to monitor the conversation. I would simply identify an organizer to work along with me and they would act as my proxy. Unfortunately, at times that was a difficult task depending on the technical skill of the person I asked.

So last week I experimented with Keynote Tweet. (I chose this because I have a MacBook, but similar functionality is also available on PC.) This simple applescript allowed me to place tweets in the notes section of my presentation and then when I was playing that particular slide, the application would automatically post my pre-written twitter messages and append the hashtag. Like my previous manual tweets, I was able to use this functionality for a variety of purposes--which I believe significantly enhances presentations.

By actively participating in the conversation, I was able to guide the conversation. In addition, since people are able to listen and process faster than I can speak, the added information gave younger multi-tasking audiences something else to do that was directly related to the topic.

Use Twitter to Offer Additional Content During Presentations

Of course the most obvious way to supercharge a presentation is to tweet links to relevant additional materials. So when I mentioned that they could learn more details about storytelling, I tweeted a link to an article about storytelling. When I mentioned Ira Glass and his show This American Life, I could tweet links to clips on YouTube of him talking about storytelling and also tweet a link to the podcast of his show. When I mentioned that I had created a tool to determine how fast you speak, I then provided a link to that tool, again via the automated pre-written tweets that I had embedded in the notes section of my presentation. The main advantage of presentweeting is that it allows you and your audience to add extra in-depth content to the presentation. 

Use Twitter to Engage Your Audience During Presentations

During the seminar, in-person attendees were doing group activities, and I took advantage of the pre-written tweets to engage the online participants in similar activities. For example, as in-person attendees were introducing themselves, so were online participants. Some in-room folks even interacted with online folks.

Activity debriefing occurred in a similar fashion. Groups were asked to post their summaries, which facilitated both collaboration and recording. Specific breaks in the program were created for this type of interaction. Interestingly, some of my twitter followers who were not directly involved in this training also jumped in and participated in some of the activities. So by accident, I expanded the reach of the training. By the way, my twitter followers did jump up, I believe, as a direct result of the increased tweeting frequency and increased perceived value of the tweets.
Next time my goal will be to increase the depth of the content and try to expand the reach of the program through more retweets. To do that I plan to follow the advice I once read on Mashable. I plan to add in more lists, more freebies, more video, and more specific calls to action (as in: “please ReTweet”).

I am also planning on experimenting by adding in more related humor and quotes. I’m also itching to try the eight really cool free Twitter tools created by Timo Elliot – things like voting, autotweeting, and twitter feedback slides. (Unfortunately, they don’t work on a Mac.) I’ll let you know how it goes on the FB page.

In the meantime, if you’ve got some experience with presentweeting please share with the rest of us on The Public Speaker Facebook page

This is, Lisa B. Marshall, The Public Speaker. Passionate about communication, your success is my business.

As always, I also invite you to join my professional network on LinkedIn (and Twitter).

If you have a question, send email to publicspeaker@quickanddirtytips.com. For information about keynote speeches or workshops, visit lisabmarshall.com.

Woman on Twitter image courtesy of Shutterstock


About the Author

Lisa B. Marshall

Lisa B. Marshall Lisa holds masters with duel degrees in interpersonal/intercultural communication and organizational communication. She’s the author of Smart Talk: The Public Speaker's Guide to Success in Every Situation, as well as Ace Your Interview, Powerful Presenter, and Expert Presenter. Her work has been featured in CBS Money Watch, Ragan.com, Woman's Day, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and many others. Her institutional clients include Johns Hopkins Medicine, Harvard University, NY Academy of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Genentech, and Roche.