Every time you give a presentation, you will reach a certain number of people. Depending on the context of that presentation, your particular message may attract a lot of attention, albeit only for a certain length of time. Naturally, interested listeners will make notes, ask follow-up questions and potentially even get in touch with a speaker after the fact in order to explore the topic in greater depth. However, given that we live in an era when we are constantly bombarded with information, it’s not unusual for the content of a presentation to be forgotten soon afterwards. This is especially problematic for presenters, because there is no reliable way to tell how much further interest their presentation has actually generated.
That’s exactly where Beamium comes in. Beamium is a browser-based presentation tool that enables your audience to experience your presentation in a range of different ways – not just by watching it on their own PC, smartphone or tablet, but also by flipping between slides afterwards and by downloading the presentation to their own device for future use (if the presenter allows to do so). This means that the subject matter stays uppermost in the minds of your target group without you having to send intrusive e-mails or hand out mountains of notes.
In addition, Beamium delivers lasting benefits not only to the recipients of the presentation, but for presenters as well. Simply by registering, all users can manage their presentations and see how often a presentation has actually been downloaded. This functionality provides a simple overview, showing which presentations have attracted particular interest. Which presentations could still use some optimization? Specific analyses, carefully targeted amendments, and A/B testing are all common techniques for the digital age that allow you to assess your own performance and the performance of the works you create. This gives rise to completely new possibilities for performance analysis and optimization, and it’s worth taking advantage of them to make your work even more effective. Sometimes, something as simple as changing a title is all it takes to make users more inclined to click, causing your presentation to resonate more effectively with your audience.
Knowing how many times a presentation has been downloaded is more than an interesting analytical tidbit; it also affects the way you present yourself to the outside world. Clear, impressive figures are often more effective than carefully crafted words – and the more interest people show in a topic, the more convincing the argument becomes for further research and reporting on the subject. Sponsors, institutions and conference organizers can be approached with much greater confidence and impetus when you can back your arguments up with figures.
Tips for giving your presentation greater reach
The follow-up is an important aspect of any presentation in order to ensure that the topic remains in the minds of the audience – and just as importantly, to ensure that it attracts the notice of people who haven’t heard the original speech. By marketing yourself and your work effectively, you can significantly increase awareness of what you do, leading to bigger and better things.
The power of social media should not be underestimated. Even if your content involves something other than funny pictures of cats and laughing babies, Facebook, Twitter and other networks still provide the opportunity to distribute your message virally. Particularly if you are active in subject-specific groups, your personal content can be distributed far beyond your immediate audience. That makes it important to find the relevant influencers when the topic is discussed, and to get in touch with them (virtually, of course). Presentations can easily be shared using a Beamium link, opening the presentation directly in the browser of an interested user. This option has the advantage of being particularly quick, but more than that, it’s also extremely straightforward for the recipient, making it the ideal way to distribute your content via the social web.
If you have a strong network, you’re bound to be the topic of conversation. Regardless of whether contacts initially appear relevant, they all have their own network and can all multiply the impact of your topic. For that reason, you should embrace discussions with multiple groups and sharing your content across all of them – you never know where and when you might attract interest.
Even though it can sometimes be painful, honest feedback is very valuable, and so it is particularly important to ask for feedback directly after giving your presentation. This might be provided via a feedback form, or by way of a face-to-face discussion with members of your audience; either way, feedback is the only way to develop and optimize your presentation even further.
Expand your subject matter
If you notice that a topic attracts a lot of interest and has the potential to be discussed more widely, stick with it. If the audience was attentive and receptive on the first occasion, the odds are good that they are open to further exploration of the subject matter. The content of your presentation should therefore be expanded in order to reach both your original audience and a new public and to stimulate further debate. By creating a name for yourself as an expert in this way, you can continue to grow your sphere of influence.
“Think of each interaction as one moment in a larger relationship with your audience. That’s the mind-set it takes to persuade people to change their thinking and behavior – and their world of work.” (Nancy Duarte: HBR Guide to Persuasive Presentations, 2012)