How to Handle Smartphone Distractions during Presentations

Use smartphones to engage your audience

posted by Hannah in October

Some years ago, the introduction of the iPhone changed our lives in many aspects. Only a couple of years after the first mobile phones, the smartphone suddenly disrupted our world. A large part of our professional and private life can nowadays be managed over the internet. Besides thousands of advantages, these new technologies brought disadvantages in our lives as well. Especially the ongoing distraction in many situations can be really annoying for our fellow human beings. But what can you as a presenter do to stop people from looking at their smartphones during your presentation?

And suddenly everybody looks on the smartphone…

There are various reasons why people look on their smartphones during presentations. It already starts before the actual lecture begins. More and more people come in the class room and take a seat. While some of them start with small talk, most participants will have a look on their smartphones. At the beginning of your talk, everybody should normally turn off the smartphone and listen to you. But after a while, first audience members will have a look on the clock, check emails or simply browse on Facebook. After a while, you realize that half of the audience is distracted by the smartphone and ask yourself what you can do to change that. A small joke helps you to get at least some attention, but a couple of minutes later you have lost that attention again. In case that you are a teacher at school, you can now ask your participants to immediately turn off the smartphone. However, this strategy won’t work if you have to present in front of a grown-up audience.

Make your presentation engaging

There are many ways to avoid that people look on the smartphone during your talk. The more interesting your presentation is, the less likely it is to lose the attention of the audience. As soon as you see the first people looking on their smartphones, make your presentation style more interactive and include some audience members in your presentation. While the content of some presentations can be adapted, other slides are just dreary and you need to make the best out of it with some embedded stories. But no matter of what you do, there is always a chance that a number of participants finds the smartphone more attractive than your slides.

Use smartphones to your advantage

Up to now, we only looked at smartphones as something negative and tried to prevent people from looking on them. But if there is this new and fascinating technology in the pocket of your audience, why should not you use it for your advantage? If this great tool connects your viewers to social media, why don’t you use it to connect them with your slides? Beamium is an innovative tool which makes it possible to stream slides in real-time to the devices of your audience. Without any installations. Your viewers simply need to enter your presentation ID on and will be immediately able to follow your slides on their own devices. With Beamium, you will not only stream your slides directly to the devices of your audience and make your presentation touchable. Beyond that, Beamium has some nice features to engage your audience, to receive feedback and to analyze the users’ behavior.

No matter how hard you try, you will not be able to totally avoid distractions from smartphones. Instead of fighting against them, use them for your advantage and tie your audience to your slides.

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autor: Hannah Hanahw2