The Social Media Mindset (Hint: ‘Yer Doin’ It Wrong)

966605_10101114569460738_1798730164_oLast week I had the privilege of being invited to speak to the amazing staff at Johnson & Wales University in Denver and also do a five-hour consultation on their social media efforts.  I have done a number of social media consults for departments, and other campus entities, and one of the questions that always arises is: “Can you show me a good example of a university doing social media?”

I can understand why people ask this question.  Higher education and student affairs professionals are known for their free and open sharing of resources.  When developing a new program or service, one of the first steps people take is to look at “best practices” or “exemplar institutions.”  This makes sense.  With social media, however, it often isn’t this easy.  Sure, I can provide a list of institutions that seem to be successful (there are a number of lists out there: here, here, and here), but critical consumers of information will ask, “What’s the metric being used to determine these lists?”  The tricky part about social media is that it is a moving target.  New services come and go.  Statuses, posts, and tweets go stale quickly.  Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, social media is about the interactions that take place.  Interactions are hard to capture just by looking at a site.  They’re what happens “in-between.”
Read More

The Bacon Kitty George Takei Star Wars Experience 2: Now with Circus Clowns!

baconcattekeistarwars2Approximately one month ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “The Bacon Kitty George Takei Star Wars Experience” about my definition of social media.  A few weeks prior, I had also titled a post, “Your Professional Network is Powered by Bacon.”  After doing this, an odd thing happened.  In the statistics for my website, “bacon” became the most frequent search term directing traffic to my site.

The following are the search engine term statistics from my site for the past 30 days:
Read More

Presentation Tip: Using The “Push” Effect

PushTransition

I wanted to share one of my favorite applications of a seeming simple slide transition, the “push” effect.  It is an excellent way to create the illusion of a camera panning across a large canvas.  Prezi presentations use a more smooth variation of this effect, but you can recreate it in Keynote or Powerpoint.  In the video below, I’ll show you how this effect can be used and in what circumstances it might make sense in which to use it.  Questions about how to apply or use this effect?  Leave them in the comments below.

Presentips

The Phd/Life Journey: A Beautiful Sense of Tumultuous Calm

I decided to take a departure from my usual blog posts about presentations, social media, and student learning and development to reflect on the journey I’ve been taking for two full years now… that of a PhD student.  For those of us privileged enough to undertake doctoral study full time, it presents an amazing opportunity for self-reflection, self-renewal, and often a time for some self-doubt as well.  I recently had to introduce myself at the start of a class as a “third year PhD student,” which got me to thinking about how far I’ve come in my own journey in such a short period of time.  So if you’ll allow me to take a turn at the personal, I wanted to use this space to indulge in and process through some of my thoughts.
Read More

Presentation Tip: Books and Resources

Many people ask me about resources available to help them become better presenters and build better presentations.  There are two individuals that I think are doing particularly outstanding work.  I highly suggest checking out their blogs and books.  Links are provided below.


Garr Reynolds

garr_Reynolds

Garr is perhaps my favorite author that speaks and writes on presenting.  An American transplant in Japan, his blog, Presentation Zen, is an excellent resource.  His unique angle on the topic is the way he incorporates elements of Japanese zen and culture into his work (hint: simplicity and harmony are incredibly important).  He also has a great presentation tips page on his website.  Some of his books (again, highly recommended) include:

.

.

6a00d83451b64669e20168e5b7b7de970c-800wi

Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery  By Garr Reynolds

This is Garr’s original book, updated to a second edition. I consider this to be the absolute best book out there on the topic.  It gives a great mix of delivery and design advice and it does so in a really engaging visual way.  If you only purchase one of these, this one is it!

.

.

6a00d83451b64669e2011570cd4ded970b-800wi

Presentation Zen DESIGN: Simple Design Principles and Techniques  By Garr Reynolds

This is one of Garr’s follow-up works that focuses exclusively on the design of slides.  It provides some of the same information found in Presentation Zen, but GREATLY expands on it in much more detail.  You’ll find out more about using color, fonts, images, etc. effectively.

.

.

ShowCover.aspx

The Naked Presenter: Delivering Powerful Presentations With or Without Slides  By Garr Reynolds

Another follow-up work by Garr.  This book focuses more on the delivery aspects of giving a presentation.  As the title says, you don’t need to have slides to deliver a great presentation.  This work is more conceptual in nature, providing was of constructing great narrative arcs in your work.

.


Nancy Duarte

nancyduarte_sm.jpgNancy is another excellent presenter.  She is the head of the eponymously named, Duarte, that provides presentation design services to clients.  “Duarte creates presentations and offers training based on our unique VisualStory™ methodology, which applies storytelling and visual thinking to craft persuasive communications designed to shift audience beliefs and behaviors.” She also provides many tips and tricks in her books:

.

.

7875.image_2

Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations  By Nancy Duarte

This book provides a great overall resource for both presentation design and delivery.  You’ll find many similar themes between this and Garr Reynold’s work.  It’s great to compare the two and pick up new insights.

.

resonateResonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences  By Nancy Duarte

This is a follow-up work to Slide:ology that focuses more on honing your ideas and message.

.

.

In addition to the above resources, Mahable posted a great brief article on online resources for presentation design apps.

Presentips