A presenter’s dream is a fully engaged audience.
And that starts by treating participants like adults. Helping them to feel comfortable – not with childish welcome signs, silly ice-breakers or games trainers like to play – but by considering the things that matter to adults.
-Making sure the content matters to them. By asking the question: What do you need to learn to make your time worthwhile? and then modifying your presentation to answer their questions. I work with sales people. Usually what matters to them is how to help people to buy from them; how to make it easy to choose them over all the other choices. Doesn’t matter the topic… if I can’t connect my content with their needs, my content won’t matter.
-Setting the room so that it feels like a learning environment for adults. “Classroom” style is based on a hierarchal method of instruction. It diminishes interaction and synergy. Try crescent rounds so people sitting at tables can more easily collaborate.
-Making it easy for them to stay in touch. Encouraging them to use their mobile devices to answer email while you talk. And more… to dialogue with you, the instructor.
– Incorporating technology into the presentation. Even twitter. I hope this post gets you as excited as it did me: 8 things I learnt about using twitter as a participant tool.
What an exciting time to be a presenter!
What else do you do to honor and respect your attendees?