This is a great topic to bring to the front as the general business community catches up with social media and launch initiatives.
I have always believed, both as an individual writer and analyst as well as with my business, that there is a need for some calculation in using social media. It does not necessarily remove authenticity - but it takes some planning.
I of course have some private social media channels with family and close friends - but those stay locked away from my professional content stream.
All of us working individually or in organizations should have a strategy that furthers informing our customers and listeners to understand our products and services better.
As Mr. Rebeck's comments on Domino's also note - we need to "listen" back and respond be it good or bad news. Not to use too tired of a cliche - but we do need to stay in the conversation and mean it.
sliderocket_audio.swf (166 KB)
SlideRocket is fast becoming my favorite tool of 2009 - and has enabled me to change the way I handle presentations. The more I simplify what I put on a slide and use of more visual queues - this app caters to my approach. Now I can directly record audio into my slides - saving me a step of recording the audio elsewhere. In my case - I have the correct gear for recording quality audio and video on hand. However, it is not much of a stretch for any regular presenter to pick themselves up, at minimum, a high quality USB microphone to accommodate this new capability. A frequent option I recommend is the Blue USB microphones.
You can continue to embed previously produced audio and video into the slides - however - for cases where you think narration or some other audio-based content would be valuable - this is made quite user-friendly with the new interface add-on. Equally as important were the thought put into syncing the slide content and transitions (both in slide builds and slide to slide builds) to the new audio option. Thus you can visually organize how your slide builds occur in conjunction with newly recorded audio.
Kudos SlideRocket to a very cool new feature. Now I only hope to see Keynote import join the already great functionality for importing PowerPoint presentations! Keep it up!
Being a Keynote user for my presentations I was thrilled to find this tool. In some scenarios it would be fantastic to update Twitter with bits from a presentation and include a hashtag for folks to follow. Keynote Tweet from Ideo Labs watches for tags in your presentation notes (visible to the speaker) and sends a Tweet and optionally hashtags (like #mypresentation) and an @username of the text found between [Twitter] and [/Twitter].
via jonny goldstein from Flickr
I have written before about the excellent versatility in Keynote for presenters and with this widget - you can integrate the social community at large in your public speaking. There are a lot of e-learning folks harnessing cloud technology to reinvigorate conferences and meetings - this provides a simple tool for anyone engaged in public presentations to put their foot in the waters and take it for a spin. You can go back after the fact and search for your hashtags on Twitter. Take not that Twitter does not archive hashtags for very long - so look for your Tweets within a few days of your presentation. If folks were monitoring your hashtags then you will also find the conversation they started based on your posts.
I was recently having a conversation with a peer who had just sat through a presentation I gave to a management team. He inquired as to why so little was on the slides yet we covered 45 minutes of ground.
While I would enjoy claiming some sort of guru capability on presenting - it is quite simple. I was fortunate to have had two CEO mentors who passed along some excellent advice on presenting. It came back to the forefront today when I read a Business Week article on Steve Jobs presentation methodology. Being a long time Apple customer - I have watched a number of his public presentations. His approach is very similar to that of my mentors.
For my own presentation method - it is a combination of tools, slide design and rehearsal. While I have used Power Point for years - recently I made the switch to Apple's Keynote and have not looked back. Aside from a very efficient interface and excellent integration into multimedia tools on the Mac - it has a phenomenal dual monitor support for the presenter.
When it comes to slide design - I approach every presentation - regardless of audience - as if I am presenting to a board of directors. Directors are extremely busy, operate at 100,000 feet and do not like being in the weeds unless they take you there. Thus:
Just an aside - you can brand your presentations to include your logo and name - but get rid of busy backgrounds and crappy clip art. Build or buy good graphics that are targeted to your topic and keep lots of white space on each slide.
Founded in 2006, as of late the buzz about Slide Rocket is humming. I had taken a look at using it as a primary presentations platform earlier in the year. With their latest release, it is now a true cross-platform, online/offline presentation option.
I live, work and breathe in a cross-platform environment from a consulting and research/analysis perspective, thus I focus heavily on integration, the user interface and consistency across varying operating systems at the application and web browser levels.
After spending a few months using the free account Slide Rocket offers, a recent release that pulled me over to a paying client was the strengthened support for importing Power Point presentations from Office 2007 and 2008 (the latter on the Mac).
I used this process with a savvy Chief Investment Officer and he was able to get up and running on an intra-company weekly audio market commentary in no time at all. He spent a couple hours testing and performing some dry runs. We also discussed factors such as background noise (kids, ringers, etc), location (to avoid unexpected interruptions) and preparing a simple script to stay on point.
It is still being post-processed by an experienced audio engineer (me – as I have a studio for just that purpose) though not much needs done as it is a straightforward spoken word recording.
A recommendation for the microphone was for the Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone.