Posts tagged ‘speaker’
It’s a tremendous honour to be in a spread with so many brilliant and amazing people.
Here’s a talk I gave on Tuesday for “Vancouver Social Media Professionals Meetup” with a title that just rolls off your tongue: “Fun with Psychology and Sociology – and how it relates to Social Media“.
If you can’t garner much about content via this slideshow, just assume it was brilliant. Or wait for the series I’ll be writing on the subject on OneDegree.
I recently attended SlideRocket’s webinar where Cliff Atkinson presented “The Backchannel: A Presenter’s Nightmare or Dream Come True?“. The session addressed:
- Yes, this is happening: people are Tweeting at conferences
- Specific examples of Twitter revolts during talks
- The value of engaging the backchannel (i.e. Twitter conversations during a talk) and how to do so more.
I’ve given, and attended, a number of talks and I have conflicting sentiments about the Twitter stream during presentations.
As a speaker, I am excited by the immediate feedback. Seeing a number of comments about a talk right after giving it is a wild and, oddly, comforting feeling. (I did something today, I think, and this proves it!) It is interesting to see which points, topics or stories particularly resonated with the audience. On the flip-side, I sometimes feel a bit dismayed when seeing something I said out of context. The context is often necessary to comprehend that what I said was meant in jest, or in order to render the statement “sensical”.
As a participant, the desire to connect with others in the session, to share the information with those not there, or to simply covey, “I am here in this session, doing something today”. (If you’re getting the sense that I may need to really prove to myself and others that I am accomplishing something, you may be on the right track.) At times, the information being broadcast helps those paying attention on Twitter get a sense of the presentation and its overriding points and message. But the conversation also takes away from the content of the talk, and from actually listening.
Here are just some of the pros and cons as I see them. Please feel free to contribute what you see as pluses or minuses.
Tremendous Oversimplification. 140 characters is not enough to tell a story, and sometimes not even enough to explain a point made.
Out of Context. As stated above, jokes or flip statement are the easiest for those not present to read and misinterpret. (“She thinks slaughterhouses are sexy?!”)
Missed information. The focus can become not on learning – but on sharing what you just learnt. And it’s easy to miss what the speaker is saying next while attempting to truncate their last statement. And, as Chris Pirillo put it so well: “The problem with people using Twitter during a presentation is that they are paying more attention to the voice that is in their head than they are to the voice on the stage.”
Distraction. An embarrassing story of my spaciness here (but we’re friends right?) : While at TEDxVancouver I tried to tweet occasionally, to mention that I like a talk or to put out a quick point. The conference had a few technical difficulties where some videos took a few moments to play etc. And so, after coming back from one of the breaks, I got on the Twitter and tweeted happily away. I heard some music play, and assumed they had switched it on while they got organized. When, after a few moments, I heard clapping the realization dawned on me in a painful way. The music had been a performance. Live. And I had missed it.
Noise/Randomness. Ah, yes, noise. The internet, and social media by extension, has that in fair supply. While watching (or capturing) comments on a particular talk, you will see information and notes about the talk, but you might also see things like “Trying to get to #BobSmith’s session, but stuck in transit. Wow, BCTransit bites!”. While this message might be (arguably) relevant and (certainly) true, it contributes nothing to the discourse/feed.
Too Easy to Criticize. It’s been said that “Everyone’s a critic”. And Twitter makes that all too easy. It’s there, it’s a channel to the public, and some don’t censor themselves enough. While these people are in the minority, the notion that everyone has a relevant opinion gives voice, quite literally to unnecessary and impulsive comments (“How could he be wearing that ‘Death Cab for Cutie’ shirt to a talk?!” or “I knew about the experiment he just referred to. Next.”)
Interactivity. If properly integrated into the talk, as Cliff Atkinson was mentioning, the result can (in some capacity) be a more engaged talk, and hence a more engaging talk. The questions, concerns and audience viewpoints taken into account might result in a stronger presentation – and one that really speaks to the people present. At the very least, you, as a presenter, can be aware of the concerns of the audience (this might work especially well if the session is one that breaks off – i.e. perhaps has a workshop and you can see what the audience is needing, missing.)
Stimulation. A good talk – like an insightful book – should occasionally take your brain on tangents. You should sometimes think about 1) is this true? I agree/disagree. 2) that reminds me of this experience I had/ heard about. There are times a speaker’s points will inspire trains of thought. This means notes and sometimes dialogue (easily accessed through Twitter/Backchannel. (Now, this may well be selfish of me: Talking time away from speaker to extrapolate a blog post. But I take my moments of inspiration where I can get them).
And, least I be misunderstood, I do love that there are people who tweet and, especially, take notes. Their hard work allows me to really listen to the talk – and be assured that there will be a place to find the important points when I later (without fail) forget 90% of what was said.
Share your rants and raves below, if so inclined.
Apparently, when I get interviewed, I look like I’m being hypnotized for cult activities. Or perhaps it just seems that way from this freeze frame:
I’ll be presenting at the Vancouver Financial Services Marketing Meetup next week – and I figure I’d address some “best practices” in my talk. Here are a few (note: I wrote this originally for an online interview).
1) Communicate with people, don’t just use the sites as a 1-way bullhorn.
2) Be honest – if you’re affiliated with a product/company don’t pretend your endorsement comes out of the blue
3) Check out what people are saying about you and your company using Google Alerts and other tools
4) If you’re on Twitter, take the time to get to know people, to help and communicate. Self-promotion should be only a very small part of what you put out there.
5) Make social media a part of your life rather than trying to fit it in (e.g. make twittering and posting a natural extension of how you communicate)
How has Social Media helped me?
I have been asked to speak at conferences because people have come across my blogs. I’m excited when they’ve read my blogs beforehand because gives them an insight into who I am. Oddly enough, I’ve had a few people say they were booking me just as much for the fact that I’m funny as for my knowledge - they wanted someone who could brings humor to the presentation.
1) Ignoring it altogether – hoping it’s a fad
2) Seeing it as advertising rather than communication
3) Revealing too much – or two little (it’s beneficial to give people an idea of the person behind the business)
They allow themselves to be 3-dimensional. They reveal some aspects of their personality and admit their mistakes. They naturally like people and genuinely want to have discourses and meet others. They give and add value to the community. I think a sense of fun and playfulness also helpful in the space.
Tips for success
1) Structure: You have to commit to whatever site or site(s) you’re networking on, commit to going there, to posting, and to communicating on a regular schedule. If you disappear for a long time people will figure you’ve left.
2) It takes time. You won’t suddenly get people throwing money at you. But if you invest your time you will eventually see the results of your efforts.
3) Think of it as networking at an event or party. You let your hair down a bit, and meet people and chat. Using the same example, parties don’t always lead to a business deal that evening, but nurturing the connections might eventually bear fruit.
4) Try to have fun with it – even though it is, in a sense, marketing. If you enjoy the communication, it will be less of a labor and more easy to incorporate into your life.
If I had to pick only 1 social network
Twitter. It’s faster and easier to communicate and generally more people see the message. Also you can incorporate other elements (link to pictures, blog posts etc.) I think you still need a blog, but you can communicate every day on Twitter, whereas you may not have the time or energy to write daily in-depth posts on your blog.
How to use
Use YouTube to showcase yourself briefly and to give others a chance to see “real life” you. Use Facebook as a general communication tool – it allows you to update your status, post videos, talk to people, organize events etc. Plus, most people are on it. Use Twitter to communicate a few times a day. Your blog is great for ideas, thoughts about your business/industry, to allow clients to keep up with you and your work and activities and for general longer-form communication than microblogs (e.g. Twitter).
What tips do you have re: best practices, that you think I should share?
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P.S. I recently did an interview with the Casual Encounters blog (primarily about my other blog)
There’s a quick interview with me posted on their blog.