How to tweet at events like presentations, seminars and lectures

If you’re attending an event like a seminar, lecture, keynote speech or conference presentation then Twitter is a great way to broadcast live tweets that capture quotes and soundbites. I’m going to provide some preparation notes and ideas when tweeting at events.

Birds tweeting


Why live tweet an event?

Twitter is still a great social media channel for influencers in political, industry and academic circles. Therefore, your audience will appreciate you capturing statements and important moments within an event. As well as your online audience who perhaps can’t attend the meeting in person or those who are there, sharing these moments bring together your niche community.

Preparation before the event

Before attending the event, make sure you’ve done your homework and recorded the following facts and resources:

  • Twitter handles of speakers, hosts, organisations etc.
  • #hashtags for the event and subjects being talked about
  • any prepared text for tweets
  • any URLs and links for sharing
  • any photos and images from the presentation or to support it

I use a combination of Microsoft Word to ensure the character length is within the limit and Windows Notepad so I can copy plain text for pasting into a tweet status.

If you’re organising the event

If you’re involved with the event then make it easier for attendees to get involved and join the online conversation. Simply create a slide or poster which includes some key Twitter handles and hashtags in plain view on the projection screen or around the room.

Your tools for live tweeting

If you’re going to use a Windows PC/laptop then open the following apps and programs (sorry Mac users):

  • Microsoft Notepad
  • Microsoft Office Word- sometimes I like to see how many characters I have remaining so I can edit and then copy and paste into a tweet
  • Your preferred web browser – multiple windows of the same browser can be easily switched between the two using the shortcut keys of ALT and TAB.
  • Open the following websites/programs:
    • Twitter
    • TweetDeck
    • Google/Bing or whatever you prefer
    • Your organisation’s or client’s website

If you’re using your mobilephone then you can take photos and share them quickly via Twitter.

What to tweet

First of all, it’s impossible to capture all important points so don’t panic.

A few minutes before the event starts, announce that the account will be “live tweeting” with link to event, who’s speaking etc. Include a photo taken on your mobilephone.

Make sure you listen intently to the speaker. Capture key points, quotes and soundbites. If you mishear anything important then it’s probably best not to tweet that quote. You may be able to check a recording later.

Use Notepad to type out new quotes, insert @names and #hashtags, review then copy and paste to send.

If you hear of any mention of online resources then use Google to search and find the web address. The speaker maybe quoting a good blog, book or website that your audience will appreciate. You can either tweet these immediately or after the event.

Don’t forget about the event audience tweets

Twitter etiquette means retweeting any good tweet such as those who have captured quotes that you may have missed. ‘Like’ any tweet mentioning the organisation/speaker/client or the event hashtag. Acknowledgment of the conversation is good manners and shows you’re listening to the community.

Use TweetDeck for the following:

Although Twitter itself can show your account’s notifications such as mentions, replies and like, TweetDeck can be customised for the best way of monitoring activity:

  • Add a column(s) with search of any keywords or #Hashtags being discussed
  • Track mentions
  • New tweet function allows scheduled tweets so use this whenever there’s a lull of activity
  • Follow accounts that mention or like event related tweets whenever relevant

Photos and videos

Any visual content shared on Twitter will be greatly appreciated to your followers and will certainly increase their chances of being retweeted. Although the latest smartphone cameras have improved in image quality, taking a good photo or video would benefit from the following tips:

Get a photo of the audience – bonus if speaker interacting with audience

If presentation on screen then capture a good slide that clarifies an important point

Getting a photo of the speaker against a bright screen is almost impossible to get the right light balance (especially using a mobilephone) so do not share if the quality is low.

“Use your legs to crop the image”

Get in closer to the subject if possible without obscuring the view for others. Before the event starts, reserve your seat at the front of the audience. By getting closer you can capture the head and shoulders of the subject. Although you can crop the photos on your phone, try move your camera view to remove those wasteful ceiling and empty wall shots.

Cropping photos before and after

Above image from

After the event

Twitter provides its Moments function where you can publish your own summary page of tweets on your chosen subject such as your event. Twitter offers a filter and search tool therefore tweets by a handle or hashtag can be selected to capture the full story. Your audience will appreciate the review and collection. You can even embed the Moment into a web page using your CMS.

Download the PDF version of How I tweet live at events

About Robin Coleman

A creative digital marketing and communications strategic specialist with strong project management skills. Over 15 years broad experience with online communications, social media, community management, and managing content management systems (CMS) underpinned with a BA in Marketing (2:1)
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