5 Reasons Not to Tweet During a Presentation? Poppycock, I Say!

So Kelby Carr from Type-A Parent shared a post on Facebook by Jeff Haven about the 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Tweet During Presentations. Really. She called it BS, and I agreed. Then I proceeded to write an exceptionally long comment on the post…and I figure it would serve better as its own blog post. So here’s my rebuttal:

As a liveblogger and occasional livetweeter at conferences and other presentations, I have to disagree. [I address each of his five points in order.]

Tweet Up

  1. I process the material I’m typing better than if I was only listening. (I could not accomplish this with my smartphone, on which typing takes much more time. I use my laptop.)
  2. I’m definitely not checking my email or playing games during a presentation. I’m there to learn and to share what I’ve learned with a great audience, creating discussion about both the topic and the speaker’s handling of it that continues after the presentation has ended. The people who are also checking their email and playing games would probably just be zoning out and still not paying attention even without a smartphone in hand.
  3. In my industry – social media and online content creation – tweeting presentations using an official hashtag is the standard procedure. It helps to generate constructive questions for the Q&A period, which the speakers sometimes draw directly from the Twitter feed. There was that one time everyone in the room completely disagreed with what the speaker was suggesting, and we pitied anyone who wasn’t on Twitter and getting the REAL deal, instead absorbing the bad advice as gospel.
  4. Nope. As described above, it’s entirely possible. But again, it probably varies by industry.
  5. I certainly don’t do this because it makes me look smart. I liveblog and livetweet because of the consistent feedback thanking me for sharing. People who were not able to attend thank me for sharing the content they could not experience live and in-person, people who were listening to the same presentation thank me for helping them process the material after the fact, reminding them of the important points that were covered and occasionally providing additional context. And the presenters and conference organizers themselves have thanked me for my treatment of their presentations, for helping to share the knowledge and also for promoting both the speakers and the organizers.

In conclusion, speakers should not discourage tweeting during their presentations. Tweeting can actually increase engagement with the topic and encourage more lively discussion at the end.

Christina Gleason (973 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


Comments

  1. Excellent points, but I’m still not convinced. Here’s my rebuttal to your rebuttal ->
    http://www.jeffhavens.com/news-and-updates/tweeting-during-presentations-rebuttal

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