Engaging the Audience - one cool tool at a time Y ou’re booked! You’ve done your homework about the organization. Mission, goals, values? Yes, you’ve done your research. You’ve even asked the questions about audience demographics. Perhaps you were hired to inspire and motivate these attendees. Or to educate them on the ethos of the organization, its mission and objectives. Quite possibly, you were hired as a keynote speaker and your superpower is your ability to talk business strategy. The client would like you to help the event attendees understand the significance of what they do and inspire them to do it better. There are a million quotes about first impressions. But what you need to remember is that first impressions last. As helpful as all your research is and no matter how many questions the event organizer answered, you’re still the one – in front of the group – working to capture and keep their attention. Don’t worry. You’re going to be great! We are living in a very fast age, where toys and technology have forced us all to work a little bit harder. These gadgets and apps - well, they are supposed to make our lives easier. Alexa? She can pretty much do anything we need, except maybe take out the garbage. But give her time, I’m sure she’ll get there. Portal from Facebook? Their tag line is “if you can’t be there, feel there”. That’s about as warm and fuzzy as long distance gets. I’m guilty! I rely on some devices to make my days run smoother, but I’m not in front of 400 meeting attendees, trying to make sure they are enjoying and engaging in my presentation. If you’ve started looking at the plethora of tech toys and tools that are at your disposal, maybe your head is spinning. Where it used to be enough to have great content and a charismatic personality for presentation, 8 Plan Meet Repeat Magazine Jan/Feb 2019 now you are expected to have Jetsons-like tools that dazzle and keep them talking about it for months. But first, you have to get their faces out of their phones……or do you? Goodbye to passive audience attention and say hello to the interactive experience. Allow me to introduce you to SLI.DO – one of the most user-friendly and analytical mobile audience engagement tools. SLI.DO is an award-winning web- based tool for meetings and events. And while it is not necessarily new technology, its simplicity makes it an ideal tool for presenters and attendees. Event owners can create the platform effortlessly and the participants can join on any device by logging in with their event code. This software can integrate across PowerPoint and Prezi, making it a very comfortable choice for presentations. By simply opening a web browser, navigating to the event app and entering the specific code, audience members are now interacting with presenter, anonymously. This web-based application allows for live Q & A through their device. No more standing in a que at the microphone or waiting for someone to pass a microphone through the audience to get audience participation. This anonymous feature allows for more open sharing and less shyness about public speaking. The attendees can also participate in live polling, which in my humble opinion, is one of the coolest trends to come on the scene. Sure, it requires you to be much more deft in your presentation, but as an attendee, its pretty darn cool that what we share may have an impact on where you’re taking your talk.