The Dreaded Question: A Presenter's Worst Nightmare

It’s the end of your event. You’ve been speaking for a while. Your mouth is dry and you want to go home. But no; the worst is yet to come...

Tom Dally, September 16, 2016

“Any Questions?”

It’s the end of your event. You’ve been speaking for a while. Your mouth is dry and you want to go home. But no; the worst is yet to come. As any professional would, you are duty bound to ask this question, even if you’re worried about the response. No one wants to speak, no one wants the limelight. Instead of hands waving furiously in the air, there is collective seat shuffling and shifting eyes. Alas, your audience does not respond.

Does that mean your audience doesn’t want to respond? Now that’s a very different question. In most cases, audiences find this section of an event just as awkward as the speaker. Am I going to sound stupid? Will everyone look at me? What happens if I can’t be heard? Silly as this may seem, these concerns translate into obstacles for audience engagement. It means that both audiences and speakers struggle to get what they want from the event.

Audiences want to be engaged as much as events want audience engagement. Whilst they might be two separate things, giving audiences the tools to turn presentations into conversations is the holy grail of event management, but ensuring it is not as common as it should be, even if a simple solution is at hand.

Old School

The situation as described above is a classic. Q&A sessions at the end of events are nothing new not especially effective. Whilst a few individuals may buck the trend and raise their hand, only the questions of these individuals will be asked. There is a chance that these questions may be the most insightful in the room and what everyone wants to know the answers to. There is a larger chance however that this is not the case.

A generalised Q&A session doesn’t give you a wholesome response from your audience, nor does it adequately reflect the feeling in the room. For this to happen, you need to ditch this old school approach and embrace what the advances in technology have brought to the event industry.

Digitised World

Thankfully, the modern world has produced a solution for this old school problem. Event technology has revolutionised the way audiences can engage and respond to both presentations and speakers. Even better, if you utilise the right technology, your live engagement data can be harnessed to give your presentation or event real value. Suddenly, measuring return on investment for the events industry became no hassle. Bosses want data to make smarter business decisions, and you are handing it to them on a plate.

The Holy Grail of Engagement


1. Live Polling

Most presentations or speakers will want to ask their audience questions during their speech. This tends to involve a raising of hands, passing around a mic, mic then not working, and people not volunteering. If you need audience responses to be a part of your speech, having these built into your presentation gives you the chance to get a conclusive response. This allows you to shape your discussion, with all your audience contributing.

2. Live Questions

If the audience can ask questions via a mobile device, then the fear of asking a question disappears, along with all the other problems. Even better, there can be no issues concerning sound or duplicate questions. Both the audience and the speaker have a reference point, and the displaying of the questions on screen allows everyone to be constantly engaged. For an even higher response rate, the ability for the audience to vote on what questions they prefer is provides insightful data for the speaker as to what the majority of the audience is thinking. Not to mention, the audience is hearing the answers to the questions they want to hear.

3. Live Feedback

Speakers want to know how they have performed. Whether it’s for personal reference, knowing what to improve or items to scrap completely, having conclusive feedback from your audience is vital. In times gone by, paper surveys or follow up emails aren’t successful, not to mention not being environmentally unfriendly and costly. People forget, are too busy, or just can’t be bothered. These issues disappear with live technology. Giving a simple option of your audience to rate your performance at the time of the event gives you real time data that is accurate and helpful. Now who doesn’t want that?

Wrapping this up then, the technological side of events is changing, and for the better. Speakers need to make full use of the technology out there in order to remain on top of their game. Glisser can help speakers in all industries by offering simple but effective solutions for all the above points. Points that speakers and presenters can no longer afford to ignore.


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