This article originally appeared on PR Daily in January of 2018.
Delivering a memorable, effective speech is a difficult mission, but it’s not impossible.
There’s help around every digital corner. Social media, in particular, offers a potential goldmine of support and resources that can help you knock your next presentation out of the park. Here’s how social media can help you become a better speaker:
1. Use it before the event.
Before you speak, take time to market yourself and generate buzz online. This is a crucial opportunity to build your audience and pique interest.
Consider partnering with someone influential to promote your session. When an industry leader puts in a good word for you, that’s an easy way to score credibility points.
Here are some easy ways to use social media before the event:
- Put one of your speeches on YouTube. Show off your skills to give people a flavor of what you have to offer.
- Use Twitter to learn about your audience. Try to get a better understanding of your audience before the big day. Use Twitter to get a sense of what questions or pain points your audience may have.
- Use social bookmarking. If you’ve blogged or posted any videos online, encourage your followers to share your content to build momentum. Use social bookmarking tools like Delicious, Digg and StumbleUpon to get people to share your expertise.
2. Use social media at the event.
This requires a bit of multitasking, but engaging with social media followers at the event lets you strike while the iron’s hot.
The day of the event, tease out content to your audience. Try to build excitement, and remind people about what topics you’ll be exploring. Remember to use the event hashtag.
Here are a few other ideas to try:
- Schedule tweets. Before it’s your turn to speak, preset tweets or updates that will go live during your presentation.
- Share your slides. Upload your presentation to SlideShare, and let your audience know it’s available for reference.
- Ask for audience assistance. People might not share your content without prompting, so don’t be shy about asking for help. Encourage attendees to post updates or tweet some of their favorite ideas from your presentation.
- Encourage live Q&A. There are plenty of tools that make audience interaction easy. You can also encourage your audience to pose questions via social media, which you can pick and choose as you wish.
- Monitor interest. Use social media platforms to gauge audience reaction and get instant feedback. You’ll know when your listeners are bored, confused or dialed in.
3. Use it after the event.
Don’t vanish after you’ve finished your speech. Here’s how to keep the momentum going:
- Gather and share testimonials. Ask attendees whether they’d be willing to record a brief testimonial or write up a quick endorsement.
- Post selfies. Take time to connect with individual audience members. They might not remember all your speech, but a photo provides a lasting, personal memory.
- Ask for LinkedIn recommendations. Personal endorsements can help you land that next speaking gig. Be sure to ask specific people for recommendations, rather than just asking the entire audience.
- Thank organizers. Show appreciation and gratitude for every opportunity you receive.
Social media offers numerous ways to help you become a better, more prepared presenter, which can do wonders for your career.