Posts tagged ‘Speaking’
Here’s the presentation on “Finding Your Online Voice” that I’m giving at Northern Voice today (wish me luck ).
To read other posts I wrote on this topic, click here.
Updated: For the video of my talk, click here.
I asked a few bloggers I knew to fill out a short survey. One of the questions was:
“Did you have any difficulty finding your online voice? If so, how did you discover it? Do you have any tips on that for new bloggers?”
(Yes, these are three separate questions I asked as one. This made the form look shorter and hence. more likely to be filled in, and I apologize to no one for that! No one!)
Here are some of the astute responses:
I’m currently prepping for my Northern Voice talk on “Finding Your Online Voice“. This post is the first of the series.
Since I figured saying, “Well, you start blogging and then, after a while, you find your online voice” might not be very inspiring to participants, I wanted to ask other bloggers (via a survey) about their process. Tomorrow I’ll be posting some of the cool responses I received.
As for me, my process was really trial and error (for both blogs – especially the humour one, which, as I’ve repeatedly stated, I nurture and feed much more consistently).
For Your Dose of Lunacy:
I really didn’t know what I would write about. I just knew that it was necessary to have a blog if I was to consider myself a person in-the-know about social media/technology. I had fancied myself a writer since I was a kid – and that wasn’t entirely an asset. My early writing was a bit too stilted and pompous (as far as I’m concerned), a little too long, and not very natural in tone.
I tried to write about the wacky occurrences that I had had in my life, and there’s still some of that in my blog, but I also realized that there were things I liked to rant about, and that I did that in general, in real life. And so I found myself ranting, but I really didn’t realize the theme until I read a description a friend of mine had written about my blog which described it as (something like) “amusing weirdness from the net”. I thought: “Really?! Well I guess I do write about that kind of stuff alot. OK then…” And an (admittedly very loose) theme was born.
For this one, Me Like The Interweb (which I started after the other, in order to somewhat separate the raunchiness from my business thoughts):
I originally considered doing (and probably did to some extent) what I thought was “de rigeur”. At the time, most seemed to be blogging about what they attended (be it conference session, webinar etc.), what they thought of it and what it made them think about on the topic. Also many would comment on items that were popular at the time. While that can be very valuable for those bloggers and their readership, especially if they had something astute to say on the subject, I really felt this wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. For one, I don’t have something smart to say about everything that happens – and certainly not succinctly. And secondly, I am too obsessive (and possibly long-winded) to put together a “quick” post that is still interesting and well-written. As such, writing is time-consuming and I have to pick my priorities.
So, unless I am really inspired to blog by a talk and/or feel there is something monumental to discuss about an event I attended, I won’t. This blog tends to be a bit of a brain dump – albeit it far more hygienic and organized than the inside of my head. I write more when I have a talk to give. Hence, these posts.
I can say that my Your Dose of Lunacy voice sounds much more like me – if you know me well, and catch me on a ranting day. (Also, I’m a little nicer in real life) This blog is my other half: more how I sound at talks, and when I’m being professional or introspective.
A critical thing I want to mention is: I never expect anyone to read my blog (at least not consistently) because of me. I really believe in the importance of the content, and overall write under the assumption that no one cares about who I am, and that the post better be interesting (or funny) even if they don’t know me or care anything about me.
What about you? Did you have a path to finding your online voice. Or did it just come naturally? Any tips?
P.S. I have a few comedy articles on Zug.com. The general theme of these concern FAILS in my life – and your reading will prove that they didn’t occur in vain…
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.
b) I think the less I post here, the more mysterious I’ll be
c) It’s summer and I fear the heat my computer generates might contribute to global warming and possibly cause my apartment to implode.
d) I suck
An update on me
- I recently did a presentation at the Vancouver Financial Services Marketing Meetup. My notes are below, and a video from that talk – as well a few talks I gave at “My Charity Connects” are on the Video page.
- I am currently compiling items for a media kit to better position myself as a speaker. If you’re looking for presenters, feel free to drop me a note.
- I have an Acting page up here as well – if that’s news to you, please feel free to take a look.
- I forgot to mention a “Week in Review” I did for One Degree
- And yes, I am working on a book (I am so unique!). It’ll likely be an e-book similar to my YourDoseofLunacy blog, but more focused on my experiences.
Good Reading Re: internet/film
- The NFB’s “7 Blogging Tips for Filmmakers“
- The last Filmmaker Magazine was chock full of great articles. Namely:
- An interview from “Fans, Friends and Followers” (article not available online, but book is) which lead me to this great resource from his site.(Note: If you’re Canadian, you might sadly wish to forgo CreateSpace purchasing for the following reason:
- Jon Reiss looks at DIY Web marketing.
- Lance Weiler explains why filmmakers are turning to torrent sites to build a community.