Using Social Media in Your Next Nutrition Presentation
Be aware that this will happen more and more often from now on. The audience is most likely using some form of social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest etc.) to comment on your presentation or ask questions. They are communicating through what is known as the “Backchannel”.
Whether you like Social Media or not, you’re going to have to embrace it. It’s becoming more and more common and you need to know how to make it work for you and not against you.
Here’s a plus – you can pass on all the great information you have to share with people who couldn’t make the presentation in person. You’ll have the chance to reach more and more people – not just the audience in front of you. Nutrition education is our goal, and you can now reach a much larger audience with social media!
Benefits to you and your audience
1. There will be more privacy when asking questions – so, it is likely that more people will speak their minds and ask questions.
NOTE: If the presentation is good – it can enhance the presentation, however, if the presentation is boring, the backchannel can negatively impact the entire presentation – since people don’t hesitate to speak their minds through the backchannel.
2. There can be more clarification if something brought up in the presentation that isn’t clear.
People asking questions through social media can receive answers by other audience members, other experts in the audience and people who aren’t even at the presentation. Usually what is called a hashtag is used for a specific presentation or event so people not attenting can follow along. If someone sees a question is asked, they can answer it even if they aren’t at your event.
Also, you (the speaker) can answer these questions. If you’re comfortable with presenting and having the audience using social media, try scheduling a few minutes during your presentation to check out various social media sites to answer any questions you find. However, it is very acceptable to do this once your presentation is over as well. It’s your choice!
3. Your audience is more likely to stay engaged because they can stay more “active” during your presentation by asking questions.
The questions asked can potentially be answered right away which is more likely to keep an audience member engaged. Additionally, receiving information & links immediately can help people pay attention and learn the most from your presentation.
4. As already mentioned, you can reach an audience that isn’t even present at your event.
Those who can’t attend can still follow along via social media. They can check out people’s tweets, facebook comments etc. and participate. They may not be visually present, but can receive all the valuable information you have to give. You’ll be presenting to a much larger audience than you could before. Your nutrition lesson will reach many more people this way.
For Nutrition presentations – using the Backchannel will show your audience (maybe existing clients and potential clients) that you are staying current with technology. Presentations about technology and social media are expected to use the Backchannel, but educational nutrition presentations aren’t expected to know about this. Stay ahead of your competitors and be on the “cutting edge” of technology!
Please remember though, your present audience (the people in front of you) are still the most important. Don’t present to the people in the Backchannel and remember to focus on your actual audience. Even though eyes may be looking down, try to make eye contact with everyone in the audience. The use of social media may make this more difficult, but it doesn’t give you an excuse to read from your notes or slides.
When you’re preparing and presenting – it is crucial to always keep the audience in mind. You are much more likely to make a connection with the audience this way.