Reminders for Frequent Speakers

I went to Blogword Expo about a month ago, and attended a couple of sessions put on by “Internet Famous” people. Their blogs are pretty well-known, their books are at Barnes & Noble, and they speak at conferences. A lot.

Guess what? Some of them were really bad presenters. As I was thinking about why this was, I came up with a few things to do / not to do when presenting … even if you think you are Mr. or Ms. Popular in whatever speaker circuit you frequent. Here they are:

Inside jokes? Don’t use them. One guy took the first five minutes of his talk to pass inside jokes to “his crowd” … which seemed to consist of a few buddies sitting on the front row. This was in a room of about 200 people. So there were about 5-10 people in on the joke. The other 190 of us? Not so much.

Inside jokes can be fun – if you bring everyone else inside with you. Use the joke as a point in your talk, and surround it with the full story. That way, everyone is in on the fun, you can tell your joke, and “your crowd” will still enjoy it too. I actually saw another speaker do that – he gave the background info, then used a person or two as an example, and it worked really well. Inside joke success.

Always give an introduction. You are not that popular. I’ve heard this from a speaker more than once – “You all know me, so I’m going to skip the introduction.” Guess what? We don’t all know you. The guy who did this at Blogworld Expo has a book out, and his blog is very popular. But I didn’t know who he was – never heard of the book or the blog, never attended any of his presentations before. I spent the next five minutes hunting down his blog instead of listening.

Yes, you know some of the people in the room. Yes, you know all the other speakers at the conference. Give at least a brief introduction anyway. At the conferences I regularly attend, the majority of people attending the sessions aren’t “regulars.” It’s either their first time at the conference, or they can only attend once every few years. So chances are, you are new to them. So make a quick introduction.

I’m too cool for slides. Same guy at Blogword Expo actually said this – “I’m too cool for slides.” Sure, Powerpoint presentations can be sorta boring if done poorly, and they aren’t always needed. But honestly – most of the time, if you are talking about the geek stuff I go to conferences for (technology, blogs, marketing, social media, etc), slides help drive home your point. You can SHOW that Twitter conversation. You can SHOW those Facebook Page stats. You can SHOW how your new-fangled technology site works.

Or, take a clue from the emerging web, which is getting more visual every day (i.e., Instagram, Viddy, Pinterest, etc). Your speech is good. Your speech, plus something to look at besides your head, is even better. Especially if the slides compliment the point you’re trying to make.

Prepare. At least the day before. One of the keynote speakers said he was working on his talk that morning in the cab ride to the convention center. And you could tell. The talk had some fine points, and the speaker knew his material, but he also stumbled quite a bit through the points he was trying to make. A little more practice and preparation would have done wonders for his talk.

So, you know. Get your slides done before you get to the conference. Actually run through the presentation once (with a timer). Preparation and practice are boring, but if you do the work, it will definitely pay off “on the stage.”

Your turn. What else should be here?

ALA12 Presentations

As promised, here are my two ALA12 presentations. There was some great discussion at both!

and

I also participated in Battledecks. It’s not for the faint of heart! My goal wasn’t so much to win – more to say something coherent on every slide, and attempt to stick to the topic. And I think I achieved that, with some humor thrown in to boot. So mission accomplished there!

Say Hi in Anaheim!

ALA AnnualI’m headed to Anaheim, CA next week for the ALA 2012 annual conference. Busy time, that conference! My time will be full of meetings, sessions, and the exhibit floor, touching base with a bunch of techie vendors.

I’ll be giving a few presentations while I’m there, too. Please stop by and say “hi!” Here’s where I’ll be:

  • Sunday, June 24, 10:30 a.m.–noon. RUSA President’s Program: Library in Your Hand: Mobile Technologies for Exchanging Information with Patrons. The MARS Conference Program Planning Committee has produced a program on the use of mobile devices in libraries as communication tools between librarians and library patrons. Mobile devices are increasingly being used to provide libraries with the opportunity to disperse information at the exact point of need. This program will explore the importance of libraries supporting mobile technologies for the dissemination and acquisition of information. Other speakers include Joan Lippincott, Associate Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, will speak about why libraries should embrace communicating with patrons through mobile devices, and Kristin Antelman, Associate Director for the Digital Library at NCSU Libraries, will speak about mobile initiatives at NCSU including WolfWalk, a photographic guide to the history of NCSU optimized for mobile devices.
  • Monday, June 25, 2012, 8:00am to 10:00am. Let’s Work Together: Integrating Social Media, Online Marketing, and Outreach (RUSA). Speakers will discuss how their organizations have reinvented their online presence using social media as a way to interact with their communities. They’ll also address their personal and organizational investments in the implementation of an ongoing online, socially-interactive presence; give hints and advice regarding the implementation of new media and how these roles and responsibilities are assigned to staff; identify the criteria they used to develop their social media plan; and explain goals and measurement tools for keeping on track.  Other speakers include Jen Robinson, Marin County Free Library and Marshall Breeding.
  • Monday, June 25, 5:30pm – 7:00 pm. Battledecks! Battledecks is not for the faint of heart. It is a nerve-wracking event where those competing must create a coherent presentation from a deck of slides that they have never seen before. This is truly the perfect way to end your conference experience as these courageous individuals compete for the glory of being crowned the next champ.

Say hi if you see me, and cheer me on for Battledecks – I’ll need all the help I can get!

High Plains Library District Staff Day Presentations

Yesterday, I hung out with the staff of the High Plains Library District in Greeley, CO. They are a very dynamic, energetic bunch!

I gave two presentations while there – here are the embeddable versions of them:

and

Enjoy!

Most Popular Posts and Videos of 2011

Here’s a list of some of my most popular content from 2011, including blog posts, videos, photos, and presentations. I hope you enjoy poking through this list, and more importantly, following along – reading, watching, viewing, etc – in 2012!

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2011:

Most Popular Videos of 2011:

  • i-microphone for the iphone – the Edutige EIM-001 (embedded below) – me testing out an iPhone microphone. Viewed 5574 times and counting, mainly because the US distributor put a link to my video on their website.
  • Testing out my RØDE VideoMic Pro – me testing out another microphone. Viewed 2617 times – proper use of keywords put my video in the first page of hits for “RØDE VideoMic Pro.”
  • Morphwiz – an iPad Music Creation App – me playing with an iPad synthesizer. Viewed 2134 times. Proper use of keywords and tags is the culprit again – this video appears in the first page of hits for “Morphwiz.”
  • OK, and my most popular video ever –  Learning Blues Harp – viewed 63,469 times since 2007. Embarrassingly enough, I’m pretty certain it gets hit so much (and then gets some nasty comments) is because of my poor use of keywords! When I titled the video “Learning Blues harp,” I really meant “I’m just starting to learn blues harp.” Everyone else apparently clicks on the video, thinking “I’m going to learn HOW TO PLAY blues harp from an expert!” Oops.

 

Most Popular Presentation of 2011:

Most popular photos of 2011:

From Flickr: viewed 289 times…

… and my personal favorite from 2011 in Flickr – my family. Viewed only 16 times, which is actually sorta amazing:

And my most popular pic in Instagram from 2011 (I’m davidleeking on instagram – Instagram is VERY COOL):

Here’s to a great 2011, and to an even better 2012!