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What is Conversational Presenting & Why It’s Time to Try It

Planning your next in-person or virtual presentation? It’s time to consider giving conversational presenting a try. Here’s how.

When you think about the last presentation you attended, or maybe even one you delivered, what are some of the words that first come to mind?

Long? Boring? Uneventful? Lacking impact?

Even if the information is accurate and clear, there’s nothing quite as daunting as sitting down and being stuck listening (or zoning out) to a presentation that never ends.

Maybe it’s not the information that’s uninteresting. Instead, it’s all in the delivery of that information!

Luckily, there’s a solution to transforming the delivery of a presentation. You can create a better experience for your audience by creating more of an interactive experience with conversational presenting.

What is Conversational Presenting?

The simplest way to explain conversational presenting is the action of delivering a presentation that provides your audience with the opportunity for organized interaction.

Conversational presenting is about transforming a presentation into an experience that’s fun, engaging, and impactful.

As your audience engages more and more with your presentation, the more impact it has on them. And the more likely they are to want to be involved with it.

Give Conversational Presenting a Try

Conversational presenting is different from the more traditional method of presenting. Not necessarily in its format, but rather through the addition of one important element being interaction.

Interactions can come in the form of activities and facilitation techniques. You might take a quick break after delivering consistent flows of information to allow your audience to respond to that information.

Traditional Presentation Methods

A traditional presentation often includes a presenter who speaks to their audience, who listens more passively, without taking breaks.

While a presenter using this method may ask questions, they aren’t necessarily meant for the audience to answer. Discussion isn’t generally encouraged and audience members aren’t as inclined to keep their full attention on the presentation.

Conversational Presentation Methods

Conversational presentation works to solve common problems found with traditional methods. A presenter takes recurrent breaks to allow their audience time to contribute thoughts, ask questions, and answer questions.

The presenter gives cues to encourage audience members to interact with both them, and their fellow audience members. Questions are often answered by audience members either verbally, by a show of hands, or through voting using live polls.

During any type of presentation, attention spans are bound to rise and fall.

But the great thing about conversational presentation methods is they give the presenter the opportunity to read their audience and regain attention through interactive activities. Discussion and questions are always encouraged!

When to use Conversational Presenting

All kinds of meeting and event formats can be improved with conversational presenting!

Here are just a few examples:

  • Classes and lectures
  • Company and business meetings
  • Conferences
  • Workshops

Classes and Lectures

If you’re an educator, then you likely know it can be tricky to keep your students’ attention. Conversational presenting is a great approach to keeping your information both interesting and inspiring to your students.

The more attention they can give to the information you’re delivering, the more they’ll learn from it.

Involve students by asking questions, getting them to work in groups, or by creating an atmosphere that encourages open discussion.

These are all great ways to ensure they’re listening, and even more importantly, that they’re understanding the information being presented.

By the way, we share more of our favorite live presentation tips in this post. 

Company and Business Meetings

Employees and partners may have no choice but to be involved in company meetings. But that doesn’t mean they need to drag on!

Incorporating conversational presenting can increase the efficiency of meetings, help attendees feel more motivated after meetings, and result in better communication across the team. It can also help team members feel like they’re in a safe space for sharing feedback.

Conferences

Conversational presenting can make your conference presentations a lot more memorable. When you open conversation with your audience and bring a little entertainment to information that might otherwise be seen as dry, it helps your presentation stand out.

You can also easily gain feedback if audience members are able to answer direct questions verbally, or by submitting a poll.

Workshops

Involved, hands-on learning is the best way for a lot of people to learn. Training is more participatory with conversational participation and this brings a lot more value to your workshops.

People will feel encouraged to take the learning experience into their own hands and put the theories that you are giving them in to practice.

Conversational presenting is just one of the best tools in your arsenal for great meetings and events. Want to learn about others? Get in touch with us today!