Use Twitter in Your Next Presentation

Great post in Business Week online by Carmine Gallo

How to use Twitter in presentations!

Cliff Atkinson author of The Backchannel, argues that Twitter and other social media platforms are changing the nature of presentations.

Here are five suggestions from Atkinson for speakers dealing with this new dynamic.

Accept it. He believes that by taking specific steps, a presenter can positively influence the back-channel conversation. “By being aware of it and preparing for it, speakers can harness the power of the back channel to broadcast their ideas in ways they never thought possible.” For example, if you’re speaking to 100 people, each of whom have 100 “followers” on Twitter,, you’re potentially extending the conversation to 10,000 people.

Show you understand how Twitter works. Atkinson recommends that your title slide include the following information: title, name of the speaker, Twitter username, and event hash tag (a hash tag lets Twitter users search for related posts easily).

Create Twitter-friendly messages. Create up to four Twitter-friendly messages that you would want your audience to post to their followers. Speakers stand a better chance of getting these ideas in the Twitter stream by building slides using the key messages as the title.

Take breaks. Atkinson recommends that you take a break from the slides and bring up your Twitter stream during your presentation, addressing questions and comments that your audience is posting. Atkinson suggests taking up to three breaks, but of course this depends on the activity of the event.

Extend the conversation. Social networking tools allow you to tell your story and deliver your messages across a range of media. Extend the conversation you began in the presentation by posting your slides and ideas to your Web site, blog, or presentation-sharing sites such as SlideShare.

Carmine Gallo is a communication skills coach for the world’s most admired brands. He is also a popular speaker and the author of several books, including The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. More of Gallo’s columns are available in his ongoing series. .

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