Last week I shared some current, hot presentation trends that I’ve witnessed and heard about the past few years. After sharing that blog with my email list and via social media, numerous people contacted me asking me what are the next presentation trends. Although it is impossible to predict the future, these are some future presentation trends that I already see emerging.
Future Presentation Trends
- Utilizing Second Screens – Conferences have used large screens to allow the audience to see the speaker’s visual aid and to see keynote speakers up close for years. Many conferences are now sharing the speaker’s PowerPoints via the conference’s app so that the audience can follow along, or cheat ahead (another reason for brevity in your visual aids). The premise of sharing the visual aid before the presentation ensures everyone in the audience can see the aid, which is important in long or odd-shaped rooms. This sharing also allows people to focus on the presentation instead of trying to take notes verbatim. Audience members can take notes directly on the file on their computer or tablet as if they were writing in a book.
Many experienced speakers struggle with their audience using a second screen, such as a smartphone or tablet, because they think the audience is not paying attention and doing other things on their devices besides taking notes. It is hard to fight people using their devices, and I suggest encouraging people to use social media like Twitter and LinkedIn to quote things you say and to promote your message.
- Synchronized Second Screens – I’ve seen companies that offer the technology to stream your presentation to multiple iPads simultaneously, so each person in the audience can easily see the screen. Because of the cost, this presentation technology is usually limited to an audience of 8-12 people in a conference room setting. Streaming the presentation on the iPads prevents people from jumping ahead and keeps the presenter in control. (I believe this may also help with language barriers too.)
- Streaming Live Events – We’ve seen concerts, sports events, and other live events streamed on television for years and more recently streamed on the internet. Thanks to advancements in technology and the price coming down, smaller conferences can now stream presentations live. This change increases the size of the audience and gives conferences an additional revenue stream. You can engage remote audience members with for Q&A using a moderated chat room, Twitter hashtag, or a service like Sli.do.
- Live Polling – I’ve seen speakers use text messages and tweets as a way to poll the audience. Since I mentioned Sli.do, I thought I’d elaborate a bit on how it works. Sli.do allows audience members to submit questions, and the rest of the audience can vote for their favorite questions, thus streamlining the Q&A session. This technology is useful for large audiences or even shy people in the room that are fearful to stand up and use a microphone to ask a question. I’m just starting to see some associations use this for their luncheon speakers, and I’m anxious to see it used on a large scale.
- Educational Systems – Besides streaming conferences, associations are recording webinars and breakout sessions of their major conferences and utilizing them in new educational platforms. Online learning is nothing new and tapping into industry experts to share their knowledge is a great way to build up your educational library. Some of these online learning systems include worksheets and different forms of multimedia, like my SpeakU presentation education program.
- Virtual Reality (VR) – Seriously! Many companies are working on ways for you to engage in sporting events and other live events as if you’re in the crowd. I expect this movement to carry over to presentations and eventually conferences. This technology will allow you to be more immersed in the presentation than just watching a live video stream or webinar. It will let you “sit in the seat” and turn your head as if you were there. A few TED Talks have shown remote audience members watching via an iPad in the auditorium. Virtual reality usually offers more than just a single iPad in the audience, they offer multiple people access to the session and usually different views, including a 360° look around the room.
Although some of these future presentation trends and technologies, like Virtual Reality, are still years off from becoming a day-to-day reality, and a bit hard to imagine now, they will happen in our lifetimes. Just look at what Pokemon Go has done recently using Augmented Reality technology.