It Starts Before You Start
When I coach business owners on mobile technology or social media use, I am constantly interrupted with questions and requests to go back to a certain page. That is what makes my workshops dynamic and engaging. The benefit to the audience is that these welcome comments and dialogue do not dissuade the delivery of my message. Ultimately, the audience still receives understandable and memorable information.
To deliver this type of presentation takes four actions that I implement before I stand up.
There should be one key element people MUST leave with. If they can’t recite that one thing back to you in the end, they are not allowed to leave (just kidding). Spend time formulating your presentation around one key topic. If you do not know what that one central point is, your audience won’t know it either. Writer Jessica Stillman envisions a central point as a spine with other elements branching out from it. There should be a direct connection between anything presented and that key element.
|Don’t Forget to Practice|
Who Are They
Before I begin any of my iPad / iPhone client events, I work the room. I walk around and talk to people about the device(s) they brought with them. I talk with them about their favorite apps and any frustrations they are experiencing. Why are they there? What do they want to learn? This action allows me to connect with them, and helps me focus my talk. I sometimes use their name during the presentation to draw them in and make them feel included. To make this tactic successful, I have to…
Everyone has had something go wrong during a presentation. The bulb goes out on the projector. The laptop stops working. The television falls off the wall (yeah, that happened to me). If you arrive early, you can test the equipment, meet the audience (see number 2 above) and get a drink (of water). Most of my clients are amazed that I arrive before they do. As my Boy Scout Troop Leader Mr. Andrews taught me, “It is better to arrive 1 hour early, than 1 minute late.”
Steve Jobs practiced. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. practiced. Even I practice. When I am teaching business apps to business owners, I know the 12 – 14 apps I am going to demonstrate before I start talking. I know how they will look and perform on the screen. I know the pros and cons. If my iPad stops working, I have a back up. I even have funny stories to share while changing out the device. All of this seems natural to my audience, while I am secretly sweating with fear on the inside. I never miss a beat because I practiced.
These four pre-presentation tips will help your audience understand and remember your topic of discussion. Everything you do is about increasing the audience reception of information. If they are not happy, you won’t be happy.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: $19 billion Worth of Eyes
They Like Me!
Here is the nomenclature for the social media map:
Facebook (personal) = Friends
Facebook (business) = Likes
Twitter = Followers
LinkedIn = Contacts
When I teach LinkedIn classes for financial professionals or business owners, they want to know how many Likes they need on Facebook to generate a profit. The answer? Just one. As long as that one person is influential enough to drive sales and revenue, you only need one person.
However, your ability to influence people is not wrapped up in just a number. It is directly related to who you are connected to and the value of those relationships.
Your number of friends is not the only metric by which to measure social media success. If you have a great message, and you scream it in an empty room, it doesn’t matter. You need enough people listening to your message that it will be heard. In high school and college, I didn’t have the largest number of friends, but I did have enough friends to get me elected to Student Council. The social media world operates in a similar manner.
|Is this enough “Friends?”|
Who are your friends? If you have five friends and those friends are President Obama, Michael Jordan, Mark Zuckerberg, Mark Cuban and Warren Buffet, you are keeping pretty good company. LinkedIn calls these people “influencers.” Even if the leader of the free world is not following your tweets, make sure your business is connected to people with influence in your industry. Know who these people are. If your business is financial accounting, connect with the most influential financial accountants. They should be your friend / follower / contact.
Mark Schaefer (Return on Influence and The Tao of Twitter) describes when he was a kid, his engagement with friends was based on his interactions. Quality interactions are not based on tweets asking people to follow you on Twitter and Like you on Facebook. Read other people’s blogs and share the information with your audience. Mention your followers in your tweets. Use “Follow Friday” to list other people to follow. It will take time, but these actions will strengthen your relationship with your audience.
Too Many Friends?
I have close to 1500 contacts on LinkedIn. When I tell this to some groups they ask if I know all of them. The truth is, I don’t. Sorry! However, I do try to connect with them on a regular basis. When I see a promotion or work anniversary, I’ll send a note. When I see a birthday, I’ll call or text. This allows me to stay in contact and keep the “social” part of social media.
And don’t forget to…
There is nothing wrong with having a few more “friends.”
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: 4 Pre-presentation Tips
Get Off Your iPhone!
He Said What?!
Although these stories are all negative, they don’t have to be. However, to avoid any confusion and to sustain your company’s brand, define your policies before you or your employees tweet, post or blog. Here are four tips to maintaining your voice in the social media realm.
WHO Can Tweet?
Define who is allowed to speak on behalf of the company. Raymond James may not want financial advisors and administrative assistants posting stocks tips and answering customer questions on it’s Facebook page. Define the person or group who speak for the company and let employees know. The voice of the company should come from Public Relations, the Communications Department or the founder of the company.
|Fired? All I did was tweet!|
WHAT Can They Tweet?
Define what type of information should be tweeted or posted. This information relates to your content strategy. You do not want to use the company social media site to express political or religious opinions. You should use it for sharing information, group discussions or customer service. Comcast even set up a special Twitter account call Comcast Cares (@commcastcares) just for customer service. You may want to share the special of the day or where your food truck will be. Make sure you keep what you are sharing consistent.
WHEN Can They Tweet?
A company’s social media policy should address when its employees can access social media websites such as Pinterest and LinkedIn while at work. Spell out what sites are acceptable to access during the work day, and when they can access these sites. Avoid blanket statements like “No social media at work.” Employees should be allowed to access social media during breaks or lunch. Instagram and Vine should not be allowed while on the sales floor or manufacturing plant. Spell out the timing in your policy.
HOW Can They Tweet?
Decide your company’s official platforms (e.g. – Twitter, blogging, Google +). Don’t forget to tell employees what is allowed. It may be OK to comment on professional discussions on LinkedIn, but you want to limit political views on Twitter. The solution may be as simple as having employees say, “The views expressed here are my own and not that of Widgets, LLP.”
Bottom line: have a policy no matter how small or big your company is. Confused and need direction? You can also download a Social Media Policy Toolkit fromToolkit Cafe and use their template. Your employees (and customers) will appreciate the clarity of brand.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.
Next Week: 5 Tips: Rewarding Your Top Clients
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