pyKeynoteTweet: Participate in your Twitter backchannel while presenting with Keynote

Social media like Twitter and Facebook have changed the way we interact at technical conferences. You might have noticed that people are using their mobile devices and laptops quite a lot when attending sessions. In fact, they’re not impolite or rude – they just google up further information about the topic presented! As a speaker, you can help your audience to use your presentation even more efficiently by preparing a little take-away for them. Here is how.
Get pyKeynoteTweet on GitHub

A few months ago, I read Olivia Mitchell’s free e-book “How to present with Twitter (and other backchannels)” and stumbled across the tool keynotetweet she mentions throughout her advices. Unfortunately, the tool stopped working when Twitter changed its authentication mechanism to OAuth. Instead of modifying the bunch of AppleScript (well… you know) I decided to come up with pyKeynoteTweet.

The tool allows you to send out tweets while you give your presentation with Keynote. It does so by looking for the pattern

[twitter]your tweet[/twitter]

in your presenter’s notes. Each time a new slide with this pattern appears during presentation mode it sends out the payload. You can refer to other people (e.g. @hbehrens) or use #hashtags as you are used to. The script warns you for tweets that exceed the 140 character boundary of Twitter before you start your presentation and avoids repetitive tweets if you go back to a previous slide when questions arise.

Olivia Mitchell lists some benefits of using Twitter during your presentation and I can only encourage you to try it out. Not only does it help you to receive more feedback (some people do not like to speak up), and encourage your audience to spread your word (RT: your point). It’s also a good starting point for virtual discussions and digital relationships.

Download or fork pyKeynoteTweet on GitHub and let me know about your creative ways of using it.

By the way: My next talk complemented with this script will be at beyond tellerrand on Monday, 7 February. Stay tuned and follow me on twitter!


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  1. Heiko -

    I’d like to give your little download a try.

    I just had a presentation this last weekend and may or may not be presenting at the NSA UnConference on 2/19 (depends on if I get enough votes).

    If I get a chance, I’ll let you know how it goes!


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