actionable technology tips from the pros
learning Beyond the Podium
You stood in front of the audience. You inspired them. You gave them a call to action. And then you left. But it shouldn’t end
there. How do you help your audience
continue to learn and grow after your
presentation is over? Here are a few
ideas—as well as some online services
that can help.
1. Share Their Successes
Provide your audience with a “hotline”
for sharing their stories about how you
helped or inspired them. Then at the
end of your next
blog post, article
or video, take a
share one of
audio. Services like
Google Voice (free and easy) or Twilio
(price per usage; requires some setup)
can create a phone number for your audience to call in and tell their stories.
You’ll receive an email with the recording attached and a transcript of the
message. It probably goes without saying, but automated transcripts should
be taken with a grain of salt and
checked against the recording.
Written. You can create an alias email
address (e.g., email@example.com)
that will forward to you. Invite your
attendees to write about their experiences, and your mail client can highlight the alias messages so you can
easily separate them from your
Social. For pictures or short blurbs, create a hashtag for use on Twitter, Insta-gram and Facebook, encouraging your
audience to share their successes with
you and your community.
2. Create a Community
The Roman philosopher, Seneca,
said that “while we teach, we learn.”
“user groups” in
their areas where
they can share
ideas and build
on one another’s
enhance their own.
Online. Create an online community
using a Facebook Group or Google
Group (both free) where your audience
can take what they’ve learned from you
and share it with others. You can
choose to moderate the group or
designate someone to keep conversations going.
local groups. Encourage your audience
members to create local groups where
they can share ideas.
meet-ups. If you regularly travel to certain cities for other clients, you could create a Meetup.com ($9.95/month and up)
event where people can come and share.
3. Contests and Challenges
It’s one thing for attendees to listen to
your presentation, and
another to take action
based on what they
Create a challenge or contest
where your clients
can try out their skills
while reinforcing your lessons. If you
teach PowerPoint® skills, for example,
hold a contest to create a slide deck
around their favorite movie. If you
teach social media, challenge them to
write a haiku about your talk.
Whatever challenge you come
up with, make sure it’s fun and easy.
The point is to get people comfortable
trying out their new ideas and skills.
Creating a haiku is fun. Writing an
essay is homework.
What other ideas do you have or use
to keep your audience engaged and
learning after you’re gone?
Tech savvy and user-friendly,
Chad Lawson works with
companies to close the gap
between people and the tech-
nology they use daily so
employees can feel empowered and compa-
nies can have happier, more productive
employees. Learn more at chadlawson.me.
It’s one thing for
attendees to listen to
and another to take
action based on what