In a recent post about Twitter, I suggested that speakers monitor their audience’s live Twitter conversation during their presentation, and respond in real-time to tweets. I just found a great example of this being done at a panel session during this week’s South By Southwest Interactive Conference here in Austin.
It’s a little fuzzy, but I found the above picture from searching #free #sxsw. It was posted by @djchuang, who was in the audience. You can kind of make out the Twitter avatars on the left hand side and see that they projected the live Twitter feed to the audience while the panel was ongoing. Another Twitterer, @gandy, commented during the panel, “Yay! At last, live Twitter feed at the #free panel. First to have the guts to do that.”
What a great new tool for presenters/panelists. Presenters often wonder what people think about their presentations. They usually have to wait for surveys to be returned or hear anecdotally from audience members after it’s over. Now, with Twitter, presenters can see in real time what audience members are thinking, what questions they have, and what they are saying to each other. As we see from this example, more and more presenters are using this technology to get real-time feedback from their audience.
Of course presenters don’t have to provide a live feed – as I suggested in my previous post, you can have a designated person watching the feed privately, and you can pick and choose a few tweets to comment on. And you have the entire conversation documented to reference later, so you can use the feedback to make tweaks and improve the presentation for the future.
Provided live or referenced offline, either way, Twitter now provides presenters and their audiences the tools to interact in real-time with and among each other. A definite win-win!