Top 5 Reasons Why Your Next Presentation Should Be More Interactive

Interaction cyberspace We all know that the more you interact
with your audience  the greater impact
have on them.The more you relate to people, the more they will be able to memorize and take action
after your presentation.
What used to be true with “classical” offline
presentations, speeches, conferences and seminars, will be all the more
relevant for online /remote/virtual communication

Right, let’s assume you already manage to establish a good “rapport” face-to-face, what happens when you go “virtual”?

Did you know that an increasing majority* of people today in business don’t work in one place but they communicate virtually from anywhere?

*”In fact the mobile
workforce in the U.S. — which has the largest percentage of mobile
workers in the world — is set to become 73 percent of the nation’s
workforce by 2011
.” According to the International Data Corporation

What does it mean for YOU and for presentations?

Next time you will be speaking, chances are high that you will be by yourself, alone, speaking from a computer microphone, using a bluetooth headset, watching a webcam and checking one or two flat screen monitors at the same time. Scary?

Looking more like an overwhelmed air traffic controller than a Roman Orator at the Agora (I know, there should be space for something in the middle, like a cheerful effective and inspiring speech, clear and simple).

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Next Presentation Should Be More Interactive:

  • People will be multi-tasking: How to create and maintain interest when your audience is ALSO doing many things simultaneously? Checking their emails, tweeting about you or about anything else, polishing their own presentation,(if not their nails!) reading, writing, drinking, eating, doing absolutely what they want, as long as nobody watches!

Or worse, they will be tweckling !Tweckle (twek’ul) vt. to abuse a speaker only to Twitter followers in the audience while he/she is speaking. by Steve Wheckler in Weapon of mass detraction

  • They will be listening to you from anywhere in the world: How to create and maintain interaction with people separated from you by space, time and cultures? How to be still relevant when you relate to people who have almost finished their day when you’re just having your first cup of coffee? How to make appropriate cultural connections when radically different maps of the world meet ?
  • They will be connected via their laptop or mobile device: How to bring the human factor in electronic technologies? How to bridge the gap created by physical, but also emotional distance? How to balance the “Robot” effect and simplify, personalize sophisticated technologies?

  • Blindfolded Man They will be out of TOUCH, not sharing the same SPACE They might not get the same “feeling” of you as if you were physically in the same room. How could you add your personal “touch” and warmth? More on this innovative approach of what used to be called “proxemics” (from Edward T Hall’ studies) to include now Virtual Distance . This might concern you and the person at the closest cubicle from you.

“Virtual DistanceTM is
the perceived distance between two or more individuals when their
primary method of communication and coordination is not face to face

Virtual Distance can exist regardless of whether people are separated by millimeters, miles or continental masses.”

  • You probably won’t SEE them! How will you be able to read their non-verbal cues?  You used to “read” people’s faces and measure their satisfaction by the non
    verbal messages they sent you.Now you will have do this differently and develop other skills.Imagine you’re speaking blindfolded, people’s contexts being totally invisible for you if you don’t explicitly ask for them.How will you do that?

This is the fourth post about the Next Presentation trends

In the very near future, presentations are going to look:

  • More simple
  • Shorter
  • More personal
  • More Interactive
  • Collaborative
  • More Fun

Next post is going to be about collaborative presentations…

And before Christmas, how to add fun into your presentation!

My purpose is to bring you solutions to manage these new challenges, and offer you a step-by-step online presentation class.

What kind of comments does this post trigger in you? What other aspects of interactions challenges do you see in the next future? Have you already experienced confusion, discomfort or stress while communicating online? Have you ever faced an intimidating silence while giving your webinar? What worked well for you?

12 thoughts

  1. Great post, Marion…! As someone who has done almost ALL of my work in a face-to-face setting, I’m wondering about the experiencing of translating my workshops into webinars. Coincidentally, this is very timely as I have recently been asked to do a webinar (tentatively scheduled in February). BTW, Nancy Duarte has done some great posts about this on her blog as well. Thanks for the food… for thought.
    Keep ’em coming… Steve

  2. This is very interesting, in my experience my best presentations were when the audience participated, instant feedback created great engagement- interaction not between me and the audience. I agree totally with your comments regarding the multi tasking of people when they are on a webinar, it is so easy to get distracted. I look forward to hearing more form you on this topic

  3. Typo in my comment instead of “interaction not between me and the audience” it should say “interaction between me and the audience”! more care needed as my old teachers would say!

  4. Great, thank you, Steve!
    Tell us how it goes for your webinar and I would be happy to help you prepare for it.
    This has become a real passion for me lately.
    Not because I love new technologies (to be honest, I used to really struggle when I started on computers, I am an old fashioned book lover!), but because I believe Trainers and Coaches, as well as Teachers,University Professors would really benefit by adapting to these new forms of Learning.
    It is growing at the speed of light, it’s effective, fun, playful, flexible, affordable, creative, personalized, at our own rythm, etc…
    Ok, I should write another post about why I believe we should all improve our virtual presentation skills, to enable more people to learn in the global world.
    Peace on Earth and a Happy Christmas!

  5. Thank you , Mike!
    I am designing a new course on “How to present to remote audiences via Web conference”.
    This course will be delivered online, of course, and combining, blending different approaches of learning.
    There will be audios to listen to, videos, slideshares,to watch and listen to, texts to read, active steps to take, and mentoring for each new step taken.
    Please sign in for the free trial if this seems what you’ve always been looking for!
    I’m pretty sure it’s a unique blend on the market, 🙂
    Geronimo Blend!
    Looking forward to counting you on board!

  6. Marion – you share extremely relevant, useful information to guide us on our virtual journeys and to assure that our message gets successfully conveyed…thanks much!

  7. Webinars do pose the challenges you eloquently express here, of course! What makes them so attractive is probably those same five things when they go positive:
    People can Multitask, and connect to your message in a different, hands-on way!
    There will be people from all over the world in conversation with you!
    The new technologies bring you into their lives at any time, anywhere!
    Time and space do not matter anymore, you share an intellectual, idea, energy-space that does not depend on the other, traditional notions of time and space!
    Your other senses will find expression, beyond the visual we have relied so much upon in the past!
    All this to me is the description of a brave, new world. You pose the important issues in this post. The worries we sometimes have, the possibilities that bring out our fears…I am looking forward to your next posts now.
    As for frustration, my biggest one was once, I tried to do a webinar including live, streaming, video and the technology still gets in the way there, when some people don’t hear, some don’t see, etc. For now, I am sticking to audio, visuals like photos, slides, and some pre-recorded short videos!

  8. Marion
    Interesting topic. Thanks for sharing those great ideas.
    There is still a huge gap between people who understand that the world is already technology driven and remotely interconnected and those who have no idea on how to engage and connect with other people in meaningful conversations online.
    Too many people want still to tell or sell rather than listening and responding in a one to many conversations

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