Since I’ll be giving a seminar on Interactive Techniques for Presentations at the District 37 Toastmasters’ Conference in a few weeks, interaction is on the brain. So I almost doubled over laughing while watching a webcast today in which the host (who managed to barely squeeze in an even dozen “ums” in his first minute on the air) went on and on about how great this presentation was going to be, and after 96 seconds uttered the statement, “but I want to make this as interactive as possible, so…” Here’s a clue. If you rambled for a minute and a half before you even acknowledged you had an audience, much less tried to include them, you’re not as interactive as possible.There are LOTS of ways to interactive with an audience — live or over the web. Lecturing is not really one of those ways. Reading your lecture is even less one of those ways. To name just an easy few: acknowledge the audience (!), ask for questions, take a poll, use inclusive language (we instead of I), give the audience something to do, promise (and deliver) a reward, … All of these can be done virtually as well as with a live audience. There are bunches more — the limit is only in the presenters’ creativity.
Interact with the audience. They want to be involved.