In a recent post, I discussed how connecting with your audience after your presentation to share notes can forge and strengthen relationships. Today, I’ll share some other reasons you might want to connect with your audience post-presentation as well as some great tools and techniques you can use to make that happen.
What should you share with your audience?
The ideal post-presentation digital handout will vary based on your presentation audience. Assuming that you’re presenting to a conference audience, for instance, your handout could include things like:
- A quick thank-you note for attending your presentation with specific details about the audience, presentation highlights, and/or the conference
- A brief personal bio with your bona fides, or a link to your credentials through a website like LinkedIn
- Information on how to contact you: email, social media, etc.
- Link to a presentation follow-up survey to evaluate what value you delivered to your audience; Google Forms is a great free option
- Option to subscribe to an email newsletter or other regular communication (MailChimp offers a quick and easy form builder)
- Your presentation including presenter notes (because you didn’t put all of your speaking points on your slides, did you?)
For every link you provide in your handout, I recommend using a URL shortener like goo.gl or bit.ly to create short, and more importantly, trackable URLs. Using these free services, you’ll be able to quickly get a count of how many people are clicking your various links, which will provide you valuable data on where to focus your time and efforts on future post-presentation follow-up emails.
If you’d like to avoid creating those links manually and would prefer to have one place where you can go to see how people are engaging with your email, I strongly recommend a free email development and analytics service like MailChimp.* The beauty of these services is that you can get valuable analytics like email open rates and click rates on all of the links in your emails. As a bonus, your emails will look more clean and professional thanks to the great design tools built into the campaign developer.
Get those email addresses
In some presentation environments, you already know every member of your audience and may interact with them daily. Obviously, you don’t need to collect their contact information. But in situations where you are presenting to an audience whose contact information you don’t have, you’re going to need to create some natural way for you to get in touch after the presentation. Here are three ways you might get your audience’s contact information:
1. Info from the presentation organizer
It’s possible that your conference or meeting organizer will know or take attendance for your session. If that’s the case, before you present, confirm that they are willing to share that contact information with you immediately after your presentation so that you can make a timely post-presentation contact.
2. Mid-presentation survey
If you are following my above recommendation to use an email service like MailChimp or ConstantContact and find yourself in a situation where you want to bulk-collect audience email addresses, I strongly recommend checking out JoinByText. It’s a great service with a free two week trial that allows you to create a custom keyword that your audience can text to a special short phone number along with their email address to instantly join your mailing list. So you can put something on your slide like “Text PRESENTATION to 864093” and when they do that, they’ll receive a reply message asking them to type their email address. And then their email address will be automatically transferred to the email campaign service of your choice. Simple as that.
As a free alternative, you could ask your audience to text your phone number (or free Google Voice phone number) with their email address or send you an email mid-presentation. Then it’s just a matter of copy-pasting those email addresses into MailChimp and confirming that they are interested in subscribing to future correspondence.
3. Post-presentation survey
As one other option, you could consider bringing along a tablet or laptop and asking interested audience members to provide you with their contact information after the presentation using a subscription tool like this one offered by MailChimp.
Unless someone in your meeting specifically asks for it, I strongly recommend avoiding distributing presentation notes before or during your presentation; for many, they serve as an unwanted distraction and the temptation to read while you’re presenting is too hard to resist.
Whatever method you use, be sure to leave your presentation ready to send some follow-up correspondence to your audience. In addition to providing them with a quick recap of your presentation, a digital handout will, at the very least, create an email exchange that your audience members can engage with now or quickly find later should they need to connect with you.
* As of the time this article was written, MailChimp includes free emails up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.