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I’m Starting To Think Conference Organizers Are Committing Malpractice If They Don’t Use This…

It was the first general session of the conference. 1pm. Just after lunch. The session was well-designed and engaging. The facilitator was dynamic and seemed to have the attention of all 250 attendees in the large ballroom. He started asking people in the crowd to shout out answers and he captured them on flipchart. This is what it looked like:

PollEverywhere Exhibit A

I was sitting in the second row when I snapped this picture. One problem was that I could barely read what was being captured. The other problem was that when the facilitator threw a question out to 250 people in the audience, only one or two brave souls dared to answer.

I’ve grown more convinced that conference organizers should be encouraging and offering PollEverywhere to any facilitator who wants to engage the audience. How can PollEverywhere transform the audience’s experience? Here are three ways:

1. The audience is going to use their cell phones during a session anyway, why not have them use their cell phones to engage with your presentation (as opposed to checking email or posting a snarky tweet with the hashtag #imsooooooooooooobored)?

2. It’s safer than shouting out an answer in front of everyone. PollEverywhere allows presenters to poll their audience with a set of multiple choice questions. It also allows presenters to ask open-ended questions.

3. The audience gets their thoughts displayed “in lights.” Every audience member has an opportunity to take part in creating content during the session if they’re given an opportunity to answer a question and have their answer displayed on a projection screen.

Know someone who has a conference presentation coming up? Pass this along!

Want more tips on presentation skills? Follow me on Twitter!

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