Types of audience in presentation and public speaking

Types of audiences in presentation and public speaking


Launching your message. Making sure it not only reaches many people their minds, but also their hearts. It is a marketer’s challenge to get a message across – to let it resonate with the listener: be it in print, on the Web or through any other form of media. Public speaking however is often a form of communication that lacks the professional marketing attention. Presentations are often made by ourselves, on a late evening, alone, isolated in one’s cocoon, and without the support of a critical colleague. Some of us even getting lost in the design of PowerPoint slides.

Yet, a little more awareness about the different types of audiences in a presentation can already make a significant difference. It makes it easier to boast your persuasive speaking and to reach your target [audience]. In this blog we’ll therefore address the question:

“How to relate to your audience in the best way?”

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This immediately raises the question; What’s the role of your audience, as a group and as individuals, and in what context are they listening to your presentation? In marketing plans a primary audience, a secondary audience and even tertiary audiences are defined to predict and measure the impact of a message. These different ‘layers’ relate to how far your message will end up. That is, beyond the venue in which you give your presentation. As it is already challenging enough to relate to your primary audience, we’ll therefore will stick to this group [but when you’re a frequent speaker – you might want to dive into these theories].

Based on example[s] we’ll take a tour along different crowds that are potential listeners to your story. From uninformed [audience] to subject experts and from students to board members. Based on your audience analysis, which you’ll notice almost is a psychological analysis, you’ll be able to make smaller and larger strategic decisions with regards to your presentation. For instance on questions like:

  • Is there some sort or hierarchy in the group that needs to be addressed?
  • Are there any cultural differences to take into account?
  • How formal or informal do I address my attendees?
  • Will attendees respond anonymous or non-anonymous to my questions?
  • How do I create a sense of safety with help of my room setup?

Just like a professional marketer; find out who is listening, twist and tweak your story or even make radical changes and leave a lasting impression with your audience!

Types of audiences in different types of communication

A presentation always carries a message and a trigger to some sort of action. You might want to entertain, inform or instruct people or maybe you want to sell something:

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In presentation.

  • As a speaker you carry authority based on your specific achievements, knowledge or based on a specific social status which your audience doesn’t have [yet]. This makes you and your presentation unique and it’s the reason why you are given the floor for your presentation;
  • Authority however, in whatever form has a certain energetic impact on an audience. There’s never a complete neutral attitude of the audience towards you and your story. People can be a big fan of your ideas or they can almost be hostile towards them. This can already start with how you’re being anounced during an event or within an event program. It’s important to be aware of this;
  • It helps to ask a short set of live questions to your audience. To sense their energy, to relate to their knowledge level and to get a better demographic/psychological analysis and understanding. You can do so by asking people to sit or stand up as a mean to reply to your question, or they can cast votes through an audience response system. This will help you to define the types of audiences in presentation. Plus, it is interesting for the attendees themselves too. Be aware that in certain cultures it might be a bit exciting to answer live questions from somebody higher in the hierarchy [e.g. in parts of Asia]. In such a case anonymous voting already helps to lower a barrier for an audience to give authentic feedback. Discover on the spot how your attendees relate to your topic and as such finetune your onward story. Speak with authority or maybe temper it somewhat – sense from the first minute how the rest of your story can have a smooth landing!

In public speaking, persuasive speaking; The Parent-Adult-Child Model

  • A platform with a speaker and an attendee in an audience, easily triggers the resemblance with a parent telling something to his or her child. During public speaking, a neutral [audience] approach is almost impossible. Therefore the understanding of the Parent-Adult-Child model, a psychological model, can help you to further gain insight in your persuasive speaking style;
  • The model implies that every person carries three characteristics within oneself: a Parent, an Adult and a Child. None of the roles is right or wrong, but in the very moment one role can be more effective than the other. A boss presenting to its employees, can easily be recognized as a Parent talking to a Child. Being aware of this analysis, can for instance help to adjust your tone more to an Adult, which also triggers the Adult character within the audience. Or more concrete: as a boss don’t tell employees what to do or what not to do, but address their own capacities and create a sense of empowerment instead.You can turn this into a live action by asking the audience: “How would you solve this?”. Let attendees discuss with their neighbour, to create ownership within the audience, and let them reply live or anonymous. After that, reflect on the input and give your idea maybe not as the solution, but as a suggestion. You’ll notice that analyzing the types of audiences, letting them play a role in your story, often results in a more well-received story and it supports your persuasive speaking.

Dealing with uninformed audience

Once you know better who your audience is and once you’re more aware of how you’re being perceived as a speaker, then relate your contribution to the right Parent-Adult-Child character and address a yet uninformed audience. From there the form and tone of your presentation develops almost automatically and strategic choices flow more natural:

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  • Less hierarchy? Do you want to prevent being perceived too much as an authority? Then take away the lectern to stand behind. Or leave the stage completely and stand in the middle of the room. Instead of your audience sitting in rows, seat them around you in a circle on an equal height. Almost as having a cat walk. Do you sense that actually more authority might help your message, then of course make use of that lectern, stage and seating in rows.
  • Safe environment? Do you want to take away an unsafe feeling [e.g. when discussing personal or very strategic subjects]? Use an audience response system and allow students, business relations, members or employees to reply to questions anonymous. The use of such a tool also allows an online audience to participate in your presentation and discussion. During brainstorms for instance, it requires a lot of trust to share an idea. Plus you also like to foster creativity [the Child role!] in a group, so  the use of anonymous replies can help building an energy of trust. At the end of the session you might not even need a tool anymore, simply because everyone will feel safe and will start to share freely annd happily!

Because of your knowledge about the audience now, some of these choices can be made so much easier. You’ll be able to tailor your story better to the crowd and its dynamics. Taking some time to figure this out, will help you to deliver a story that won’t be forgotten easily! In short, you’ll leave a lasting impression! So, what do you know about your audience?


 

Audience activities during presentation

Interactive Audience Activities & Games to Play During Presentation

In ancient Greece – the word catharsis was used for the emotional bond between actor and audience. Wouldn’t one say that when it comes to presenting nowadays, catharsis didn’t evolve that much? We still look for ideas and activities during presentation to thrive engagement. So yes, in that sense not much has changed. But it has been only in recent years that we transformed from a 1.0 to a 2.0 society; The stage doesn’t only belong to actors, but also to the audience.

They aren’t any longer spectators only, they are also contributors. And this explains the importance of audience activities during presentation. Neuroscientists at Harvard found that talking about ourselves gives similar satisfying signals as money and food give us. Games to play, activities whereby attendees share personal experiences; it all contributes to an interactive experience. Not only that, when we’re able to foster the exchange of experiences and knowledge, then we also develop ourselves as individuals and organizations. So let’s zoom in on a number of audience participation ideas:

  • Games. Fun elements during your meeting;
  • Exercises. Creative formats that support knowledge and experience exchange;
  • Other activities. Other forms of audience activities during your presentation.

Audience participation ideas

Depending on the theme of your presentation, how formal or informal the setting is and how much time you have, there are several ideas out there to apply during your next presentation. Ask yourself during your preparation to what extend you still like to spend time on your PowerPoint, or whether you’d rather prepare for strong engagement activities?

  • Games | Cross the Line. “Cross the line” is a format known from “Challenge Day” whereby attendees are asked to stand, based on their answer [yes/no] on a question, either left or right from the room. With it differences are made visible and in the end sensible too. As such it can be one of the engagement games that have a big impact; either in a fun way or in a serious way. It will evoke laughter, recognition, surprise and a tear every now and then.
  • Ideas for questions are. “Who wanted to become a doctor when you were little?”, “Who was ever bullied at work?” or “Who prefers a city trip over a beach holiday?”. Based on your topic, you formulate your own questions. Serious or light. The audience generates the content of your session. Full participation is guaranteed: no one can stay in the middle. Your role is to facilitate the dialogue, ask questions and steer the conversation towards the goals of your meeting. Because of everyone’s participation and the physical movement, you’ll for sure end up with a conversation that will stick to people’s mind.

  • Activities. There are many audience activities to think of when it comes to letting your audience speak up. In these three activities you’ll find back elements that will make your session personal allowing everyone to share their thoughts:
    1. Bring it on. Ask your attendees in advance to bring a small personal item. During your session you let everyone [with a small group] elaborate on why the item is important to them. Alternatively you can do the same by asking your audience to bring a song along. This is a perfect activity to facilitate personal introductions within a group [e.g. upon the start of a new course].
    2. Fishbowl Discussion. In a fishbowl discussion there are two groups. One forms an outer circle and one group is seated in the middle. Only those located in the middle are allowed to talk. In the inner circle there’s always a free seat available. If someone from the outer circle likes to join, then the free seat is his/hers and somebody else should make space. You’ll therefore find that everyone’s contribution is very conscious and therefore often valuable. Everyone realizes that time spend in the inner circle is valuable: questions and contributions are to the point and well-thought over. Reflections from the outer circle can be send in digitally and used for a plenary feedback session straight after the Fishbowl Discussion.
    3. The Talking Stick. The talking stick is an old Native American custom of talking. Upon the start of this activity, everyone should agree that whoever has the talking stick, is allowed to talk without interruption. It’s similar to the Fishbowl Discussion, but with the talking stick it’s not a group, but an individual talking. The talking stick can be any item, as long as it is neutral and not related to anyone in the group. Each time somebody is done talking, the talking stick should be put back in the midst of the group [and should not be handed over to somebody]. It maybe sounds simple, but in practice this is a powerful method of creating deep communication and understanding.

  • Exercises. Next to games and other activities, these exercises also contribute to a lively presentation!
    1. Knowledge Quiz. Before and straight after your presentation you can quiz your audience about your topic through Sendsteps Audience Response System. Be it solar energy, hotel management or 20th century art; formulate interesting multiple choice questions. Via Sendsteps you can add questions to your PowerPoint slide and from there the audience can respond. Track who replied what, plus see the score and announce a winner. All that your audience needs is a smartphone and everyone is ready to go!
    2. Set The Agenda. In your event program, you can leave part of the program blank. In it you eventually let your audience decide what to discuss. Upon the start of your session you let your audience form small groups. Give them a relevant question and use the output [which they can send in via Sendsteps] for a plenary discussion during your blank program item. From the output you can formulate statements that can result in a lively ‘agree’ or ‘disagree’ debate. Or alternatively invite adhoc a speaker to elaborate on the output. If you’re able to be this flexible, you’ll amaze your crowd with tailoring exclusively to their needs!

Remember those Harvard scientists? Now you have concrete tools that will help you to setup an engaging presentation that will trigger the same effect as money and food; an audience that can talk about itself will easily experience satisfaction. A win-win situation for everyone!


 

How to keep an audience engaged during a presentation

How to keep an audience engaged during a presentation

Did you ever think of your presentation as a first time date? Imagine – it’s really not that different. Upfront you are busy with what to wear, what to say and especially what not to say. You don’t need an awful lot of dating experience to know that in the end a date always goes different than expected. But nevertheless, we often feel we can never do without a proper mental preparation.

It requires a similar approach to keep an audience engaged during a presentation. And to steal their hearts. When you aim for an interactive and inspiring presentation, then attention to many details is needed. In this article we explain you more on how to keep audience engaged during presentation.

We do so based on these questions – how to engage your audience:

  • … during public speaking assessments?
  • … through the use of games?
  • … through the use of PowerPoint during presentation?
  • … by facilitating fulll audience participation during presentations?

How to engage an audience in public speaking

Every speaker is different, each story carries a different energy and each time an audience changes; that is in size, in experience and in culture. Many ingredients influence the course of your public speaking performance.

Yet, here are some basics that are universal and yet powerful to be aware of:

  • Start personal. Make the stage and the vibe yours. Share something personal and from there build the bridge to your theme. By doing so, you relate to your personal drive and motivation and you give context to your story. This makes it easier for an audience to engage with your topic and to understand the bigger picture.
  • Know your audience.When in a restaurant with your date – you don’t start talking out of the blue. By knowing the other, it helps to find the right tone, to underline similar shared experiences and to create mutual understanding. Ask a few questions to individual attendees before starting your presentation. Or conduct a short pre-event survey and use the input for your presentation. People often aren’t interested in speeches, but they do like an inspiring conversation instead.
  • Treat time as precious. When given a time slot of 30 minutes – use 25. No matter how interesting your presentation is, spare time is often considered as a little present. But how to use time in other valuable ways? From a more strategic angle you can use time to underline your message; Take a 3-8 seconds pause before telling the really important part. Even the worst smartphone addicts will pay attention now. It might feel awkward in the beginning, but then notice the impact, you’ll get the hang of it!

Games to engage audience during presentation

A game element during a presentation requires that you’re in tune with the vibe of your event. A game can make or break it. The more serious the topic, the less inviting it is to go ‘out-of-the-box’, let alone to get funny. Then again, if you know how to introduce it with confidence and flair, then you might get your crowd on the edge of their chairs!

  • Games to engage an audience. The most popular games to play are often quizzes. Through the use of audience response systems [like Sendsteps], you can easily setup a digital quiz. As such you can quickly see the scores are and there’s no unclarity about the winner. Add a timer for each question and a little background music to get the quiz buzz going!

    As for the quiz itself: relate the multiple choice questions to trivia to keep it light or make it more interesting and dive into your subject. Add a little product placement [clever when sponsors are involved] and the winner leaves the venue with a nice price from the organization or the sponsor!

  • Fun ways to engage an audience. Next to a quiz, there are other ways to keep people’s attention during presentation and meetings. Here are some ideas and fun ways (to engage):
    1. Pre-recorded video interview. Before your event, script an interview and then record it with yourself and imitate someone popular or interview somebody else. When live on stage, show the video and ask the scripted questions and let the person on the video reply. Show your creative side and imagine how hilarious this can turn out!
    2. Build a Wordcloud. Through the use of an audience response system you can start building a live wordcloud with your audience. Ask for everyone’s participation and let attendees send in a one-word reply to a fun question. “What did you want to become when you were 10 years old?”, “Who would you like to spend a coffee with?”.
    3. Play Live Music. Surprisingly music is not often an ingredient of a corporate event, or part of a presentation. But why not? It’s a nice neutralizer in the midst of all the content shared. And it opens the mind for any of your ideas shared in your upcoming presentation.
  • Creative activities to engage an audience. Apart from single event ingredients, like a word cloud or a quiz, you can also work with a sidekick. A person who constantly monitors the sentiment within the audience. As attendees cast votes, send in remarks or ask questions [through their smartphone]; the sidekick is the first person to see all of that coming in. On scripted or spontaneous moments, he puts forward the most intriguing contributions.

    Not only does it help the chairman for orchestrating the audience response better, it also adds a nice dynamic throughout the event program. Attendees feel heard, can respond with honest thoughts and you’ll be sure that based on your audience input that you’ll get to the core. The role of sidekick can be executed by a professional sidekick or by somebody from the own organization. Be aware that this requires good skills in terms of listening and simultaneously scanning large volumes of incoming content, plus presenting skills for bringing the content forward lively and clear.

How to engage audience in powerpoint presentation

As much as PowerPoint can have a negative connotation, it still is the most used presentation tool worldwide. Some people can lose themselves in the preparations, some feel safer using it and others pull of a great performance. So how to come up with a presentation that will engage your audience and foster participation?

Here are some ideas to play with:

  • Less is more. Challenge yourself and write as little as possible on your slides. Or simply skip all text and make use of images instead. Spend your time on browsing powerful images, rather than on formulating clever texts. Are you planning on using video? Make sure to test it before and in the venue itself again!
  • Ask for feedback. Although a presentation itself can be rehearsed with somebody giving you feedback, this might be a time consuming project for you or at least the other. Still, if you have the chance – why not! But spreading your PowerPoint around with a few of your colleagues or peers: that’s an easy task with almost always some valuable input!
  • Ask for feedback. Although a presentation itself can be rehearsed with somebody giving you feedback, this might be a time consuming project for you or at least the other. Still, if you have the chance – why not! But spreading your PowerPoint around with a few of your colleagues or peers: that’s an easy task with almost always some valuable input!

Make a presentation interactive

With help of Sendsteps audience response system you’ll bring your presentation to a new level: an interactive one!

  • How to make presentation interactive? The quickest and best way to use Sendsteps is to add a number of multiple choice questions. Use it as an icebreaker, or test your crowd’s knowledge or make an audience profile based on a number of profiling questions.

    Or do you dare to let attendees respond openly through their smartphone? Enable the audience to voice their opinion, to raise questions and to share ideas. Either allow all responses directly on the presentation screen, or filter messages through your tablet or smartphone and from there assign a selection to the screen. The mix of open content and polling will result in a lively session! Click here to watch a short tutorial and get yourself going!

  • Interactive presentation ideas for college? How to get a conversation going in larger classes? For interactive college ideas you’ll quickly notice how Sendsteps can help you mobilizing an entire class. Without singling out any of your students – even not the quiet ones.

    Use the open question “what do you expect from today’s course?”, let students come up with associations on a theme and put it in a live wordcloud, play a quiz based on the discussed content or let one of the students be sidekick on behalf of the class. Dare to experiment and to design your class slightly different. With it you’ll see that there’s more to asking “are there any other questions”!

We’re curious to hear more about your upcoming presentation! Reach out and let us think along with you – we like to see you shine on stage and steel the audience their hearts!


 

Tips & Tricks

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Are you preparing for an interactive presentation with Sendsteps? Here you can find tips and tricks to ensure you’re all set for your upcoming presentation!



 

Sendsteps is looking for Sales Executives & Developers

With a growing demand and our continuous eagerness to innovate, we’re looking for bright souls, happy campers and clever brains. Join our young, yet highly professional team and experience how it is to work with a product that has such a strong influence on how we meet and communicate during events. You’ll be part of the innovation in the meeting industry.  We invite you to apply or to contact us about any of the below vacancies at mike.coumans@sendsteps.com.

Events:
Business Developer Events

Sales:
Senior Sales Executive
Junior Sales Executive

Developers:
C++ developer
PHP developer

At Sendsteps we developed a tool for audience interaction that allows attendees to respond during presentations. With the Sendsteps PowerPoint tool we improve audience engagement during inhouse meetings and large events for any type of organization. Sendsteps is used in more than 50 countries around the world and by hundreds of professionals a day. Our head office is based in Amsterdam at the IJ river [opposite of Central Station] and we have offices in São Paulo [Brazil] and Los Angeles [USA].
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Best Practise | Sendsteps use at Miele

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At Miele Netherlands, Sendsteps is mainly being used to examine employees and to collect feedback to improve future meetings. Seraar de Beijer, Manager Technology & Training at Miele Netherlands, tells us more.

Examining
Miele Netherlands organizes regular internal meetings for their employees, whereby Sendsteps is actively used for examining purposes. “We discuss new developments within our product lines and directly test the knowledge of our colleagues with use of Sendsteps”, says De Beijer.

“We let the delegates log in with their names, so we can see in the back-end which answers are given per individual. This way we gain valuable insights and last but not least: we save a lot of time by not having to check the tests manually”.

Feedback next meeting
Next to examining, Miele also uses the Sendsteps tool to collect feedback for their future meetings. Delegates can drop their thoughts and ideas in the end, which Seraar and his colleagues use to improve the following get-together. “We like to keep an open mind and we therefore welcome feedback from our attendees. We learn from it and it helps us forward”.

Looking for more inspiration regarding Sendsteps within your company? Please send an e-mail to pieter@sendsteps.com – we’re happy to think along!


 

Delicate theme, cool approach!

 

“Instead of making diversity politically correct, you feel the innovation vibe”.

During the Innoversity Parade more than 500 professionals talked about diversity within the Dutch public broadcasting sector. Sendsteps was there to enable the audience to ask questions, for example to the former director of Al-Jazeera!


 

5 redenen voor meer interactie op de werkvloer

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Deze vijf redenen onderstrepen hoe waardevol interactie voor jou, je team en al je activiteiten kan zijn:

1. Signaleer en voorkom!
Weet jij wat er precies speelt in jouw team? Waar problemen en irritaties op de loer liggen, of juist kansen en potentiële procesverbeteringen? Veel medewerkers zijn terughoudend om pijnpunten te delen, of gewaagde ideeën te delen met anderen. Probeer de dialoog aan te gaan. Investeer er tijd en aandacht in. Tijd die je uiteindelijk dubbel en dwars weer terugverdiend.

2. De beste ideeën komen niet per sé van het podium
Presentators en sprekers zijn gewend om te zenden. Zij staan er immers niet voor niets, zij hebben kennis die anderen niet hebben. Toch? Dat klopt. Deels. Want al die professionals die stilzwijgend luisteren; hebben zij geen interessante ideeën, invalshoeken of vragen? Natuurlijk wel! Maak daar gebruik van, zorg voor een goede balans. Juist zo komt de gedeelde kennis ook echt tot leven!

3. Betrokken medewerkers zijn tevreden medewerkers
Onderzoek wijst uit dat organisaties waar medewerkersbetrokkenheid hoog in het vaandel staat, betere prestaties leveren. Werknemers zien direct de bijdrage die zij leveren en voelen zich serieus genomen in de besluitvorming. Resultaat: gemotiveerde werknemers met hart voor de zaak!

4. Cultiveer vertrouwen
Het delen van ideeën kan eng zijn. Terwijl het juist zo nodig is om groei en innovatie te realiseren. Door medewerkers anoniem te laten reageren, krijg je meer waardevolle input en creëer je een open sfeer, waarin eerlijkheid en transparantie de boventoon voeren. Durf jij het aan? Waardevollere feedback kun je je niet bedenken!

5. Hoe zit het met het kennisniveau?
Werken is leren, iedere dag. Jezelf uitdagen om de prestaties van vandaag, morgen weer te verbeteren. Veel organisaties zorgen voor bijscholing, trainingen en workshops om dit proces een extra impuls te geven. Helpt het? Test de kennis van jouw collega’s tijdens een interactieve sessie. Genereer inzichten die helpen om bij te sturen waar dat nodig is.

Wanneer is jouw volgende bijeenkomst?


 

Collecting valuable data from a group

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Do you really know your audience? What do they think about subjects in your presentation? Is there a difference in opinion between men and women? And how about the different points of view of young professionals versus senior employees? With Sendsteps, you can easily obtain insights into this, on an individual and on a group level!

The power of anonymity

By default, Sendsteps is a fully anonymous tool. This ensures more open and honest responses from your audience, responses on which you can build as a professional and as an organization. But even though this type of interaction is very powerful most of the time, it doesn’t always suit your needs in every session you do. Like they say: ‘measure what you treasure’. Making smart use of (big) data is the future of all businesses. But how do you collect that data?

Identify your audience

Within the Sendsteps Dashboard, every presenter can switch the Audience Identification on and off (by default, it’s switched off). When a presenter chooses to switch this on, ‘log in questions’ need to be formed which the audience needs to fill out before they can participate in a session. These ‘log in questions’ will appear on the response website after logging in. They audience can be asked for their name and age, but also for their job title and sex, for example.

Collecting and exporting data

During and after the (non-anonymous) session, the presenter can get a comprehensive insight in the results of the participants via the dashboard. The results are split out per participant and can be easily grouped, so that different subgroups can be compared in the blink of an eye. With one push on the button, a cross graph can be formed, which can be directly shared with the audience as well. After the session, you can retrieve all data from the dashboard results and export it to Excel for some next level analyzes!


 

That one burning question…

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It’s exactly one year ago that the ‘Education of the Heart Symposium’ took place at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. The symposium was centered around innovative education in which the focus is placed on stimulating the heart and talents of children versus the mind or intellect.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama was present to share his view on educating the heart. The Sendsteps Sidekick helped over 500 education professionals ask their questions. They ranged from how to motivate children to live from the heart, to whether he ever makes selfies.

Having such a high-profile speaker at your event can make people nervous when it comes to asking questions. This is where the Sidekick comes in. Sendsteps doesn’t only make audience interaction easy by facilitating (anonymous) reactions and questions. But the Sidekick also scans incoming questions on the spot, filters them, and selects which ones are most appropriate. Whether critical comments relevant to the topic, controversial questions to spice things up or mind-expanding insights for both speaker and audience; the Sidekick is always neutral and knows to make the right call.

Got any events with high-profiled speakers planned? Politicians, CEO’s or celebrities? The Sidekick might just make the difference in offering your audience a voice to ask their questions.