Posts tagged ‘Speaking’

Online Voice – Part 5 – Presentation for Northern Voice

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.

May 7, 2010 at 6:00 am 1 comment

Online Voice – Part 2 – Advice from bloggers on finding your voice

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m presently work on my Northern Voice talk that deals with “Finding Your Online Voice“.  This post is the 2nd in the series. (The first is 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:

Kimli Welsh

Delicious Juice Dot Com

Tips for new bloggers? Be real. Start small. While you don’t have to share as much as I do, you should share SOMETHING – a thought, an opinion, a story. Stick to the blogging rules: no one cares what you had for lunch. Don’t force anything; let it come naturally. Did I mention being real? Please be real. Give people a chance to know YOU, not a false image.
Classifies her blog as:
highly personal, leaning toward comedic (I hope) – I share information about my day-to-day life on a daily basis.

Kim Werker

Kim Werker

I find it easy to write, and when I first started blogging (on a different blog), I had no trouble being the voice of the website I was writing for. When I finally started *my* blog, I found the transition to be a little awkward. I felt like I had to be the “professional” me, since I was the person behind some fairly prominent publications in the crafts industry. So I was writing about stuff not related to crafts, but I felt the need to be my professional persona. I didn’t want to rock the boat or say anything that might make a reader judge a publication negatively because they didn’t like what I wrote on my blog.

Eventually, I just ripped the bandage off and started to just be myself. That was a HUGE relief, and it contributed almost entirely to me becoming a better – and happier – blogger. Readers became more engaged on my blog, and I found I had a lot more to say and I just said it as me. (And to my knowledge, my book sales haven’t hurt. 🙂 )

Classifies her blog as:
It’s a whatever-I-feel-like-writing-about blog, with a focus on creativity, business, crafts and books.

Erica Lam

The Style Spy

No. Blogging is all about being yourself. The voice online is exactly the way I talk in person and to my girlfriends when I discuss shopping. Showing off your latest purchase, the newest beauty discovery. It’s all about keeping it real and not over-thinking it. For new bloggers, be true to what you believe in, don’t try to conform or copy a popular style of writing.

Obviously the more you write, the easier it gets. And it really should be easy & natural.

Classifies her blog as: Style/Fashion/Shopping
Isabella Mori

Change Therapy

It wasn’t difficult but it also went through a bit of a process.  I’ve been writing for many years, so i didn’t have to work hard on finding my writing voice. I’m someone who suffers from writers and idea tsunami more than from writers and idea block, so my challenge was more on how to focus so that my voice would not be a dissonant jumble.  what has helped with that was to see what readers were interested in, and also looking back after a few months on what and how i enjoyed writing on such a regular basis.
Classifies her blog as: business/op ed/educational with a good dose of personal
Miranda Lievers

Blue Olive Photography

The approach I took and what I’d suggest to new bloggers is to simply be yourself and write how you talk. It will come across more authentic and genuine than if you try to write how you think others want you to write.

And of course, don’t take yourself too seriously 😉

Classifies her blog as:


May 5, 2010 at 8:00 am 6 comments

Online Voice – Part 1 – How I found my voice

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.

In general:

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  The general theme of these concern FAILS in my life – and your reading will prove that they didn’t occur in vain…

Now Playing at a Bin Near You

Just Say No

What I Did For Cash: Riding Transit With a Mannequin

May 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment

Presentation: Fun with Psychology, Sociology and Social Media

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.

March 5, 2010 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Talk Amongst Yourselves – or Not So Much?

I recently attended SlideRocket’s webinar where Cliff Atkinson presented “The Backchannel: A Presenter’s Nightmare or Dream Come True?“.  The session addressed:

  1. Yes, this is happening: people are Tweeting at conferences
  2. Specific examples of Twitter revolts during talks
  3. 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.”

.  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.


Talk Amongst Yourselves – or Not So Much” by Monica Hamburg

Post url:

January 28, 2010 at 5:15 pm 1 comment

Multiple Choice, Updates & Resources

This blog has been suffering neglect because (choose one):

a) I have been focusing on some work projects, my other blog, a book I’m writing and on speaking

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 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

August 7, 2009 at 3:12 pm Leave a comment

Social Media Game for My Charity Connects

Last week, at the My Charity Connects conference, I conducted a game session based on Beth Kanter and David Wilcox’s Social Media Game (SMG).

Given that I only had about an hour and a half to describe the tools and play the game (and much less knowledge of the internal workings of nonprofits than the creators of SMG), I abbreviated the game significantly. In brief, I picked 8 tools to work with and requested each group respond to the following 3 questions:

1) How can this tool be used? (Within your organization or in general – can be as creative as you like)
2) What do you see as potential drawbacks to using this tool (within your organization or in general)?
3) Likewise, what are the benefits?

(You can find the cards, below, btw)

I took about 20-25 minutes to go through a speedy presentation about the 8 tools (Which included: Wikis, Social Bookmarking and Flickr) – including questions. Then the attendees got into groups of 3, 4 or 5 people to discuss.

Each group got 3 cards, of which they could pick 2 they wanted to focus on.

They had about 35 minutes to come up with answers.

For the last 25-30 minutes the attendees told us all what they had come up with.

It turned out well, I feel, in spite of the short timeframe – but given that circumstance, it also turned out very differently than I’d expected.

What ended up occurring was that, generally, a few people in the groups offered how they had been using a particular tool – which everyone else (myself included) found very inspiring.  For instance, one nonprofit used delicious to organize the archive section of their website.

The attendees were given handouts, at the end, which contained all the “cards” (printed on regular paper), for their reference

Changes I’d make:

  • probably use 4 tools, in that time-frame
  • forget the drawbacks/benefit part and focus just on whether the org could use the tool and how
  • Session attendees: Do you have any other thoughts for improvement?

P.S. Beth, thanks so much for writing about my version on your blog!


June 16, 2009 at 10:43 am 1 comment

And My Twitter Presentation today:

And you thought I was done talking.  Never!

I’ll be presenting this at My Charity Connects today.

Once again, your positive thoughts help  🙂

June 9, 2009 at 4:03 am 1 comment

My Charity Connects – My Keynote Presentations & a Game of Sorts

Presenting these two talks at My Charity Connects today.

Think good thoughts! 🙂

June 8, 2009 at 4:05 am 1 comment

The Low Down – Feb 2009

Haven’t posted one of these updates in a bit:

Firstly, on One Degree there’s my: “Random Things, Rants and Relationships: February 2, 2009 Week in Review”.

I also have some speaking things coming up.

Tanya and I are enjoying coordinating the Third Tuesday Vancouver gatherings. If you’re interested in social media (and marketing/pr) do attend. We’re a pleasant, fun group with an always engaging speaker (and drinks! There’s usually drinks around or nearby too :). Next one’s on Feb 17th (We’ll be posting it on the meetup page soon.)

If you (or someone you know) wants to fill out my “Artists Using Social Media” survey, please feel free.  I have gotten so many great responses (thanks everyone!) and am certainly pleased to see so many people taking charge of their own careers and paths.

That’s all I can think of, off the top of my head.  Hey, if I think of anything else, I’ll just put it in a 25 Random Things note.


(I was kidding!)

(God, I’m such a geek.)

February 6, 2009 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Older Posts

Monica Hamburg – Who Am I?

Good question (I wonder this all the time).
Linkedin profile is: here.
Find out more here.

Our Twitter for Business Workshops

I also offer Social Media Audits and a Twitter for Business Workshop (along with other services). For more information click here.

"The Twitter workshop opened my eyes to a whole new way of doing business. Terrific advice on how to best use twitter to create new business."

- Steve Rosenberg , Founder and Instructor, Pull Focus Films

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