Interacting with audience members during your presentation

December 06, 2017 | Presentations, Verbal communication

Presentation expert Cliff Atkinson tells a great story about a 2009 education conference where two speakers got very different reactions from their audiences. The first speaker started off with interactive exercises, he was entertaining and, overall, he was a hit. The second speaker launched in with a more traditional PowerPoint, and he didn’t go over quite so well. In fact, while he presented, bored attendees started a “backchannel” on Twitter. They critiqued his slides, his content and his delivery until finally someone suggested a t-shirt. By the end of the keynote, the t-shirt pictured here was for sale.

All this to say that audience participation isn’t necessarily a good thing, says Doug Neff, a writer at Duarte. What you’re aiming for isn’t just participation for the sake of participation, but an interaction that gets the audience closer to embracing your ideas. You want to keep them engaged, on their toes, and show them that you value and want to connect with them. To that end, Neff offers 10 positive ways to interact with audience members to foster engagement and participation. Click here to read his blog post.