You Haven’t Experienced Public Speaking Until the Audience is Tweeting

Twitter and public speaking

More than a year ago I spoke at a NYC digital media conference, and I noticed someone typing vigilantly in the front row. Turns out she was with AdRants, and my blog spiked immediately.

Fast forward to today, where I spoke before a relatively small group of pharmaceutical industry marketers in Spain. A sea of laptops glistened in the dark room and dozens of “tweets” appeared on Twitter instantly with a common tag #digitalpharma. You’d have to search them around 8:00-8:45 am EST on March 31 to find ones about me (versus other speakers).

My favorite was “Kevin Nalty: Fisting.” I used a fist exercise to show how traditional advertising is different from social media. I asked people to pair up and for one to tighten their fist. The other was asked to unlock it. No other instructions.

Usually the fist person tightens as the other pries it open — almost violently. Almost nobody realizes they can simply ask the fist dude to open it, and in that rare event they almost always do… with no hesitation.

anyway- back to tweets and speaking… I don’t have to wait for speaker surveys to find out what resonated, and it’s fascinating to suddenly read the otherwise silent observations.

This is a new form of public speaking where the media is the least of a company’s privacy concerns. One private fact would instantly roll to the general public immediately– whether bloggers or journalists were here or not. We’re always on the record anymore, so thank goodness I have little to hide except my third chin.

I think I’m going to have to combine my typical pratfall with a conference of rabid Twitter writers. Just wait until they figure out how to whip out their flipcams and upload realtime.

they twitter while i talked

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

6 thoughts on “You Haven’t Experienced Public Speaking Until the Audience is Tweeting”

  1. I love hearing about your public speaking experiences. It’s one of your gifts.

    Haha. Kevin Nalty:Fisting. Sounds about right…I hope your fisting exercise doesn’t require reparative surgery, too…OUCH!

  2. There was a conference about advertising in Sydney recently. A conference I was not in attendance of, but of which I learnt of via Twitter. After the 40th “Oh no she didn’t just say that did she?!” type comment appeared in my twitter feed, I had to interject:

    @johnlacey: It must be fun to be a presenter at #atsyd and have everyone in the audience passive-aggressively tweet about everything you say.

    The good news now is that regardless of how appreciative your audience seems during the presentation you can always find out what they really thought afterwards with a Twitter search.

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