If you are like most speakers, the next time that you give a speech you are going to be hoping that your audience understand the importance of public speaking and puts their phones down while you speak. I mean really, you’ve spent time creating and rehearsing this speech, the least that they can do is to give you their undivided attention. Unfortunately, I think that we all know that this probably is not going to happen. Perhaps a different approach is called for. Maybe you should be telling your audience to take their phones out. Maybe that Twitter app just might be your new best friend.
The Power Of Twitter
As speakers, we need to understand that the world that we live in has dramatically changed over the past few years. Back in the day, our audience would show up, put their books and bags down and then sit there quietly and listen to us give a speech. Those days are now gone. Now everyone shows up and gets their phones out before we take the stage. They are texting and tweeting with the outside world. When we take the stage, we hope that they’ll put their phones away, but in all honesty that’s probably not going to happen.
What we need to do as speakers is to become used to having an audience in which a large number of our members are using their phones while we give our speech. We need to become used to having an audience that is full of “tweeters” at any given point in time. It turns out that this may not be all that bad of thing. As speakers it becomes our responsibility to understand that this is the world that we are now living in and finding ways to deal with it. You can’t get everyone in your audience to put their phones away. What you are going to have to do is to find ways to get these members of your audience to work for you.
First off, you’ve got to get comfortable with the concept of having people using Twitter during your next speech. Next, you need to start using Twitter as a way to promote your speech. One way that you can go about doing this is to solicit questions on Twitter before your speech. You can do even more. You can use Twitter to promote your presentation. Once your speech is done, you can then share follow-up information with your audience. All of these are great things to do; however, Twitter can do much more to enhance your presentation and your audience’s experience.
How A Speaker Can Use Twitter To Boost Their Impact
So how can a speaker use Twitter to help their audience get more out of their speech and boost the impact of their speech? The first thing that they can do is to use Twitter to share audio clips from your speech. “What?” you say – I didn’t think that Twitter could send audio clips. Well, it can’t. However, if you go to the site Mashable.com, you can find a list of six free services that offer ways to share audio in a tweet. Record your next speech and pick out the best parts. Once you have these, send them out to the people who attended your speech as a reminder of what you told them. If they like them, they’ll pass them on to others.
Another powerful way to use Twitter is to use it before you give a speech. Twitter is a great way to get in touch with a lot of different people. You can use Twitter to do the research on your audience that you will need in order to create a customized speech for them. Another great online service is called Lanyrd.com. It is a social network that allows you to see which conferences your Twitter followers are interested in. You can use this information to fill out your speaker and attendee profile so you can more easily connect with people you already follow and make sure they know about the next speech that you are going to be giving.
When you are done giving a speech, it’s not necessarily over. One of the things that you can do as a speaker is to encourage the people who follow you on Twitter to tweet taglines from your speech. What you may discover is that people come up with several creative taglines and summaries that you had not thought of. After your speech is over, look at tweets about your talk. Which ones do you think make the best taglines or descriptors? You can use them in the future, although you do need to give credit to the creative tweeter. Doing this can give your speech legs.
What All Of This Means For You
All that any speaker asks for is the complete and undivided attention of his or her audience so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. How hard can that be to do? However, in the day and age that we are now living in, more often than not you are going to discover that a large proportion of your audience may be glued to their mobile phones even while you are speaking. Just exactly what is a speaker supposed to do about this situation?
We need to understand that we don’t control what our audience chooses to do during our speech. This means that instead of trying to get them to all stop using their phones while we are speaking we need to find ways to use what they are doing to benefit what we are trying to accomplish. We can start to use Twitter to get questions from our audience before we give a speech. We can also use other services to share audio clips from our speech with the people who attended the speech. We can use Twitter to do research on the people who will be attending our speech. Once the speech is over, you can encourage audience members to tweet taglines from your speech and you can capture and use the best ones to promote your speech in the future.
Trying to fight the present is an uphill battle. We’re not going to be able to get members of our audience to put their phones away while we speak. Instead, we need to go with the flow and get our audience’s use of Twitter during our speech to work for us. Use Twitter before and after your speech and get your audience to use it during your speech. This will allow you to get the word out about how great your speech is. This could cause the room to fill up for your next speech!
Question For You: What kind of questions do you think that you should ask via Twitter before a speech?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
As speakers, we are always looking for ways that we can use the importance of public speaking to make our next speech have more of an impact with our audience. We’ll consider what we can do with our body language, the use of props, and many other things. However, it turns out that one of the most powerful things that we can do to give our next speech a better chance of connecting with our audience is to enhance the words that we use when we are creating the speech. Great idea, now just exactly how can we go about doing that?