Why does the Audience take Pictures of my Slides?

Avoid interruptions and provide single slides to your audience

There is one thing that almost every regular keynote speaker has always had to suffer: a blinding flash of light coming from a camera at the audience. Luckily nowadays with smartphones this is rarer, but it is still common to see individuals standing up to take uncomfortable pictures with their mobile devices. Sometimes it is just an innocent picture of the event in general to share in the social media, but in fact, many of this viewers are aiming at the slides in the screen directly. This is common in university lessons, seminar presentations, workshops, conferences and many more. Normally, this is a good sign for the presenter: it means the audience is interested in the topics being exposed, but it also comes with a bundle of inconveniences.

Should I care if people take pictures of my slides?

Of course you should, and for many reasons. The fact that people are showing interest in your slides means you are doing a great job, but you can always do better. First of all, the last thing you need while giving a presentation is distractions. A viewer that constantly stands-up and tries to focus the screen on his camera is not only a distraction for you, but also for the rest of your public. Furthermore, the public wants to capture your ideas with these pictures to keep them fresh in their memory and share them with other people, but the photographs they take home are usually out of focus, from far away and in bad quality. Therefore, they will probably never use them and a chance for spreading your knowledge and message is lost this way. As you see, it is a lose-lose situation, but as every problem, it has a solution.

Share your slides with the public

A simple solution to this dilemma is to share your presentation slides with your audience. This is turning every day into a more common case at universities, where professors share their slides with students so that they have the materials for the exams at hand. The ones that don’t, aren’t usually very popular. The major problem with sharing your slides is the channel you choose to do it. The most common solution is to print the presentation and share it with the audience in form of a handout, but this is costly, unfriendly with the environment and also and inconvenience for your public who will have to carry bulky paper handouts, when they only wanted a couple of slides. Emailing the presentation to unknown or large audiences is for obvious reasons also an inconvenience.

Have you thought about the web?

Yes, as simple as that. It is difficult to find problems nowadays that do not have solutions on the internet. Sharing your slides with your audience via the world wide web is definitively the most painless option. Many events or universities provide platforms where you can upload your slides and share them with the public by providing them with a specific password. This is a common procedure, but can be problematic if you take part in various conferences and events in diverse places, since you would have to get used to different portals all the time and this can be very time consuming.

An easier option is to use an online tool that permits you to upload documents, manage and share them easily with your public. Beamium is a tool that lets you upload your presentations with a click, manage them and share them live with the public, with an optional download. In this way you can share the presentation code or link with the audience and let them take your presentation back home on a digital format. If you do not want to share your whole presentation, you can upload versions with less slides and make those available for download. If your audience just wants single slides, this is no problem as long as your presentation is available to them in a digital form. They can take good quality screenshots from the slides they want or just save specific pages of the PDF with the various options available for this. Whit such easy steps, the lose-lose situation of presenters turns into a win-win one, where interruptions are prevented, the public is satisfied and information gets spread without complications.

Image Source: ©unsplash.com/@ckirby

Author: beamium