Apr 29

Twitter and Presentations: The Ultimate Interruption?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would’ve heard about Twitter.  Now, it seems, even live presenters aren’t immune from it’s charms. 

Speaker Olivia Mitchell blogged about using Twitter in a presentation. She provides some very useful tips on harnessing the power of this new social communication tool… Rather than re-blog those Twitter tips here I’ll link to Olivia’s post 8 things I learnt about using Twitter as a participation tool.

Laura Bergells over at Maniactive has written some of her own tips on Twitter and presentations in her post, how Twitter can enhance your presentation.

I have dipped by to into the world of Twitter, but have yet to fully dive in. So I am not sure how having members of your audience Tweet during your presentation, or as opportune times during breaks, can be of real benefit.

I think that Twitter is a potentially great tool. We have already seen examples in the media of how helpful and powerful it can be. But I feel that it could be potentially distracting.

Not only distracting for the speaker watching members of his audience Tweet, but also distracting for the audience if the speaker Tweets. And also it could be distracting for everyone not on Twitter. It’s potentially a way to distance and disconnect from certain parts of your audience, which you don’t want to do.

Olivia goes some way to redress this balance. But in my own line of speaking using humour as I do, surely twitter would be a distraction to the audience’s focus. Therefore, the laughter potential would be diminished.

Admittedly, I am talking about this as a bit of an outsider right now. I haven’t fully engaged with Twitter myself, nor have I decided to experiment and introduce, or welcome, Twitter into my speeches or presentations.

By engaging with a tool like Twitter directly into your presentations, you have to think in a different way. You can just hope that Twitter and your presentation will automatically sync up.

The fact that Twitter predominantly exists as a 140 character micro-blogging communciation tool, means that we have to potentially think it bite-sized chunks which will allow people to Tweet, or Re-Tweet, your message and soundbites to others in the Twitterverse.

So what do you think? Will Twitter and presentations continue to be bedfellows? Is it really a great addition to the speaker’s presentation toolbox? Or just another of life’s interruptions?

Here’s a presentation I found to help you become a Twitter Ninja…

1 comment

  1. Laura Bergells

    Thanks for the mention!

    I follow you on Twitter — haven’t seen you there for ages! Looking forward to your next series of one-liners!


    Laura Bergells’s last blog post..The 4 Most Important Elephants of Presentation

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