Saturday, February 28, 2009

Presenting, Twittering and Conferences

TED Blog: How to talk while people are Twittering
a provocative essay making the rounds this week suggests that presenters actually should. It's a well-thought-out piece on how to talk while people are Twittering -- and makes the case that, far from being terrifying, the Twitter backchannel is a good thing for 12 reasons. Here's one:

    As a presenter, the idea of presenting while people are talking about you is disconcerting. But to balance that, there are huge benefits to the individual members of the audience and to the overall output of a conference or meeting.

    1. It helps audience members focus

    As a presenter, you might be worried that the backchannel will be distracting. The opposite seems to be true. Dean Shareski says:

    The more I’m allowed to interact and play with the content the more engaged and ultimately the more learning happens. The more the presentation relies on the back channel, the more I focus. Knowing that my comments are going to be seen by the presenter or live participants, seems to make me pay more attention.

    Rachel Happe adds:

    Twitter allows me to add my perspective to what is being presented and that keeps me more engaged than just sitting and listening - even if no one reads it.

The full essay appears on Pistachio Consulting's blog, and comes from New Zealand-based speaker coach Olivia Mitchell.

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