This Week’s Tip: Face your Audience
It may seem obvious that the speaker should face the audience, but we’re probably all been in sessions where the speaker keeps turning away from the audience to reach and watch their slides. Each time they advance the show, they turn their back to the audience again so they can read to their audience or just figure out what point to touch on next. An audience does not usually appreciate staring at a presenter’s back for 20-90 minutes.
To make sure you always face your audience, do 2 things.
- Make sure your laptop display faces you while you speak to the audience. It shouldn’t be against a wall facing the audience
- Know your slides well enough so that you don’t need to read them to make the point you want to make. A glance should be all you need
Post Tip Discussion: The Job’s not Done until the Paperwork is Done
The presentation doesn’t end the moment the speaker leaves the stage. There is a lot of value a speaker can generate from their own post-event reporting. In this week’s episode, I explore that idea in greater detail.
- Why should you report on an event?
- If there’s no report, it didn’t happen. Creating reports gives you greater accountability, confirmation to your supervisor that it happened, and opportunity to praise you team for their assistance. It’s also helpful when you compile your annual review months down the road.
- It helps preserve institutional memory of events. This is especially important for annual and semi-annual recurring events.
- It’s a great way to keep track of follow-up items
- It helps you become a better presenter by keeping track of the things you can improve on
- When should you compile your reports?
- Immediately or ASAP.
- Reports will not get any better with time. Details will start to fade after a few hours.
- How do you compile data for reports?
- Make notes during a session.
- Review your slides.
- Repeat the question when an audience member asks one.
- Listen to a recording of your session.
- Things about the folks who approached you after a session.
- What should you include in your reports?
- Presenter names
- Number of attendees
- Summary of the event
- General description
- Operational details
- Stories of things that happened
- How the audience responded
- Comments the audience made with verbatim comments
- Opinions folks offered about your content or presentation style
- List of questions
- Questions you were able to answer
- Questions you were not able to answer
- Follow-up items
- Each item you need to follow-up on
- Post event To Do list
- Any pictures, videos, or multimedia from the session
Call To Action
- What best practices do you have for post-event reporting? How do you compile reports? Please let us know in the comments below.
- Please subscribe to 2 Minute Talk Tips in your favorite podcast app so you never miss an episode.
- Face your audience.
- Do your reports.
- Don’t get best…get better.