To make the most of your presentation it is essential that you engage your audience. This can be one of the biggest challenges in giving talk at a conference. Here we provide four great tips that will help you improve your engagement with an audience.
1. Do your preparation
Audiences love it when the speaker is confident and in control. If the room feels awkward because the speaker has not done the proper preparation, it can be a real negative in terms of engagement. This puts the onus on you to really know your presentation well, and to perform it to the best of your abilities.
Clearly then, it is essential that you put in the practice beforehand. This will make all the difference when it’s your time to present.
2. Promote interactivity
If you want to engage with your audience, you can’t expect to do so with a long monologue and nothing else. It is important that your presentation captures their imagination – and one of the best ways to do this is through interactivity.
It can be a great idea to use technologies like an audience response system (ARS) as a part of your presentation. If your audience feels like they have a part to play in your talk, for example by quizzing your audience or taking a poll, they will feel a lot more engaged.
3. Make Q&A an important part of your talk
Many speakers don’t leave enough time or put enough emphasis on the Q&A section of their talk – but this can be absolutely crucial. It’s a great idea to shorten your presentation and leave plenty of time to discuss the topic with your audience; it is often here that you can get them to really engage with your talk.
Answering the questions of individuals in the room can actually help you talk directly about the aspects of the subject that your audience is interested in.
4. Push your talk on social media
You need to be promoting your talk on social media as much as possible – not just to get people to come and see it, but also to encourage them to think about the topic before, making it more likely that they will attend the talk with their mind primed for what you are going to talk about.