Giving a talk or presentation at a conference can be challenging. Whether it’s the first time you’ve ever done it or you’re looking to bring something new, many people feel a lot of pressure. So why not take advantage of technology to improve your performance? Audience response systems (ARS) are increasingly popular tools in the arsenal of the presenter. Here are some fantastic ways to use an ARS to improve your conference speech.
Accurately poll opinion
An ARS can allow you to instantly and accurately poll opinion on a particular topic that is relevant to your presentation. This will not only allow you to understand your audience but it will also give them a reason to focus on your presentation. Whenever they feel that their input has had an effect on the talk they are more likely to engage with it. The immediacy of polling also allows for your talk to have a more spontaneous feel, rather than coming across as simply a rehearsed speech.
Get your audience talking
Almost anyone delivering a speech at a conference is hoping to inspire conversation – getting people talking should be the ultimate goal of your talk. Utilising an ARS is a great way to do this. Starting with simply pressing a button on a keypad is a great way to show your audience that you want them to get involved. This will empower them to speak out and voice their opinion.
Start a two-way conversation
There is a habit for some presentations at conference to come across simply as a lecture – one person standing on a stage talking at their audience. But this isn’t the best way to be effective. Audiences can lose interest if they feel that someone is just talking at them. It’s better to engage in conversations with your listeners so that they become a part of the talk.
Improve the Q&A
Sometimes you will get to the end of the talk and ask “does anyone have any questions?” and meet a silent room of blank faces. This isn’t necessarily because no-one has anything to ask but rather that no-one feels confident to break the silence. It can be a better idea to gather questions from the audience as the talk goes on. These questions can then be answered at the end.