Slido – The secrets of a top presentation

by Zuzana Ziaranova, Tatra banka |

In the third interview, Juraj Holub, marketing director of Slido, told us in our interview how to prepare a presentation to attract and keep the attention of the audience.

Slido, an application created in Slovakia makes events more interactive and has become a favourite international tool for conferences in the course of a few years. Its founders came to London as backpackers to subsequently conquer the USA, Asia and Australia. Meanwhile, even Elon Musk, famous inventor and visionary, answers questions people send via the Slido application, for example during this year´s SXSW in Austin. Slido has been cooperating with Tatra banka cooperating since 2014.

Juraj Holub, marketing director of Slido

What do you think a top presentation in 2018 should look like?

You can characterize a successful presentation in 2018 by three words: brief, unique and interactive.

It has to be brief because people lose their attention somewhere between ten and 20 minutes. That’s also why TED set its upper limit to 18 minutes. Besides, Ira Hayes, Second World War hero, aptly summarized it: “No one ever complains about a speech being too short!” So, in order to keep the audience involved you have to be brief and concise.

It also has to be unique in terms of the content you are presenting to the audience. Every day people watch more than a billion videos on YouTube on their mobile devices and millions of them are educational. In practice it means that speakers should bring a unique story or a unique perspective on things they are doing so that the speech can enrich.

Last but not least, a successful presentation is interactive. Speaking before a live audience is a unique opportunity for the parties to interact. A blog or video can never ever provide it. Therefore, active involvement of the audience is as important as fluent delivery or nice slides.

What are the new trends and innovations?

We start with presentations. Many people consider them to be the only format for communicating information. However, there are many alternatives that are more interactive for the audience and easier for the speakers to prepare.

I am going to mention at least the two most popular ones. Fireside chats – a conversation between a guest and the host or the Ask me anything format – no slides are used but the audience may ask the guest any question. The popularity of these formats is growing.

This is also supported by Elon Musk making a pure 90-minute Q&A session at SXSW in Austin this year. The host started with a couple of questions and then he turned to the questions people sent via Slido. They asked almost 1,000 of them!

How do you try to support interaction between visitors and speakers through Slido at events?

Interaction is like a puzzle. Several pieces have to fit together to make a compact image.

At the beginning there is only the format making space for interaction. You have to decide whether you have a presentation with space for questions at the end, a panel discussion or one of the above interview formats.

The host is the second important element. The host should act as an interpreter of the audience and push for answers to the questions sent by people.

Then there is Slido, which allows for easy involvement of the audience either as live voting or by collecting questions. The questions then serve as the fuel for discussion.

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