Ed over at Technology Evangelist was giving a presentation recently and decided to demand interaction from his audience by text message. Here’s what he did…
As an experiment, I set the first slide of the presentation to say, “Text Me:” followed by my cell phone number and explained that anyone in the audience could send me a question at any time. Additionally, I explained that unless they were already a contact of mine, I wouldn’t know who they were so feel comfortable asking whatever you’d like.
I’ve done this quite regularly for a lot of presentations I’ve given — indeed we also provided this as a service for a lot of conference organisers alongside the basic Eventscope online networking service. We still do it for a few clients. Instead of using the chairman or speaker’s personal number, we generally use an MSISDN text number from the likes of FastSMS. Audience members text their questions which are displayed on a console for speaker/chairman to refer to on-demand. It’s generally a popular offering.
Ed seemed to have some good feedback from his experiment:
Post-presentation, I had a chance to thank each of the 13 people who SMS’d me messages during the 1-hour presentation while driving to the airport to catch a fight. I also follow up on a few questions I didn’t have a chance to answer in much detail during the live hour.
Nice one Ed!