It’s easier to find a needle in a haystack. We all know the popular expression, but what does this have to do with presentations? Well, you could say you would have more luck finding the needle than contacting a presenter after a big event. It is something that probably has happened to many of us: you attend to an interesting presentation at a university or convention and have some questions or specific feedback that you would like to discuss with the orator after the presentation. However, as usual in such cases, the presenter has time constraints and must leave early or is surrounded by numerous members of the audience that have your same intentions. If you have a good memory for names, you might find the speaker on the web, given that he has any contact details available. Maybe you could also try the event’s website, in case they uploaded his contact details. In either case it’s a shot in the dark and chances are you will go with your hand empty, feedback unheard and questions unanswered. Clearly this has a negative impact on certain members of the audience, but the presenter is also significantly affected by it.
What are the downsides of not sharing contact details after a presentation?
Let’s leave aside the obvious fact that some members of the audience will be disappointed if their doubts or opinions remain unheard. What other issues are involved in this dilemma? First of all, the goal of a presenter is to share his knowledge with an audience. In case of large audiences, where the speaker cannot personally attend to every question, many doubts will remain and important feedback will not reach the presenter. In this manner, the orator loses twice. First he misses valuable opinions that might enrich his topics and future presentations. Second, his audience might also remain with an unclear picture of the information that was being transmitted. Mission not accomplished. Moreover, depending on the target audience and the topic being discussed, the presenter might forgo the chance of establishing contact with important leads or experts, a chance the might not repeat itself.
Solving these issues is as simple as sharing a short email address
Naturally the best approach to answer your audience’s doubts and listen to their feedback would be a personal one. However, sometimes the clock is ticking or the crowd is too big, as to engage in such activities. So forget those presentation cards, there are easier ways to solve this. One option would be discussing with the organizers of the event, if your information can be shared in their webpage or social media channels. Moreover, if you prefer to share you contact details only with those who attended the presentation, you can just include them in your initial or final slide. The latter being the best option, since you ensure that those who really payed attention and followed you all the way along your story-line, are those who will be getting in touch with you. For such cases you can also use presentation tools such as Beamium, where the viewers can download the presentation slides after the event in exchange of an email address.
Regardless of the path you choose, your contact information is a vital element in your presentation. You can see it as a post-sales follow up, where the product is your information and the client’s feedback is your audience’s questions and opinions. Next time don’t let your public look among the hay, provide them directly with the needle.
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