Whether we like it or not, social media in one form or another is here to stay, so why not use it to your advantage as a speaker or presenter? Here are some great tips to help you before, during, and after your presentation.
1. Promote your presentation in advance.
Really?? It seems so obvious, but it’s often overlooked. If you are doing your own social media you may be too busy working on the presentation to think about marketing it too – and that is a big mistake. Yes, often the company that hired you to speak is doing the marketing, but it should be your responsibility to do your share as well. After all, it may be THEIR event, but it is YOUR content – and as every speaker knows, it is frequently who you know that helps land that gig. So tell everyone you know what you are up to. You look busy, and it keeps you and your amazing content top-of-mind.
Don’t forget the “personal side” of social media. Tweet about it, yes, but if your presentation is open to the public, it is a good idea to send personal invitations to key prospects and other influencers to attend your presentation. Who does not want an AUTHENTIC personal invitation to attend something as your guest? That gives them an opportunity to “see you in action” and that is always better than the video!
2. Seek new content and ideas.
Use your social media following to ask questions and find out what your potential audience wants to know. Take a poll, do a survey – when you know what the audience wants – you can deliver it! It also demonstrates your adaptability and your willingness to work with the client or audience. A few well placed customized words or ideas inserted into your signature talk will go a long way.
3. Make your Content available online – Plan your Posts.
It is always best to have someone live within your presentation to post timely links to key content and data references during your presentation. Make sure that the key elements of your presentation are uploaded to your website, or somewhere online As you speak, you can post that particular PowerPoint slide and a few key points. That allows participants to remain more firmly engaged,and it also allows those not able to make the presentation at least get a ‘taste’ of what you are talking about. If having someone handling your social media needs in the audience is not an option, don’t forget the power of HootSuite or facebook’s “schedule post” options. If you have your talk “down” – and you should – then you have a pretty good idea of what topic you will hit and when. Pre-planning your posts makes it seem like your ‘staff’ is right there with you!
4. Interact with the Audience
If you have the luxury of a staff member in the audience, use them! Explain you will be using social media as a communication tool during the presentation and display the hashtag (#) clearly on every slide so no comments get lost. Ask the audience to ask questions via social media and have your assistant track them. If there seems to be a lot of confusion around an issue – work out a signal for them to get your attention and allow them to ask for clarification. Nothing is worse than losing an audience over a misspoken word or misunderstood concept.
5. Make sure your Leave-Behind is Online too
One of the greatest pieces of technology is the auto responder. If your audience wants added value and a copy of the presentation, or whatever you choose to give away as a list building mechanism, then make sure the link to receive your information (in return for their email address if conference organizers allow) is prominently displayed on your facebook page, twitter account – and on the final slide of the presentation.
6. Don’t Forget the Feedback
Ask your audience to post their reactions to your talk. The testimonials you receive are great, but the real value here is in the unfiltered feedback you will receive. You can only get better if you realize there are areas of improvement, and don’t forget to read the feedback for other presenters at that same conference – see how you rate in comparison.
7. Referrals are King!
Positioning and marketing take a back seat to a good referral from someone who has seen your presentation. Follow up with those who did post feedback and ASK them for a referral. You just got up in front of an audience of how many – and you are afraid to ask for an opportunity to do it again? Really?