October 6, 2010

Best practices for public presentations

Photo by James Jordan on Flickr


How to effectively communicate your ideas in a public forum

JD LasicaWe’re a month away from the 5th Annual SNCR Research Symposium, Awards & Anniversary Gala, which will take place Nov. 4-5 at Stanford University. (You should come!)

The nonprofit Society for New Communication Research holds annual conferences in Boston and Northern California to advance social media research and training. Over the years, the organization’s members have developed a series of best practices for media professionals.

Short but sweet: Here are SNCR’s best practices for giving a public presentation (including PowerPoint and Keynote slide shows):

Tips for public presentations

  • Keep the background simple to enhance readability
  • Always include at least one slide on your research methodology, i.e., quantitative or qualitative, sample size, error ratio, etc.
  • Be clear about your sample and whether or not the results are able to be generalized
  • Clearly title slides on methodology, sample, findings and conclusion

General purpose

  • Slides should not serve as note cards you read
  • Slides should show highlights of your presentation with you filling in the rest

Bullets and numbers

  • Keep bullets simple and avoid too many on one slide
  • Do not use more than one additional set of indented bullets
  • When conveying rank or order, use numbers instead of bullets

Fonts, colors and graphics

  • Use easy-to-read and professional fonts like Helvetica or Times New Roman
  • Do not use all caps or all bold
  • Using italics or underlining may cut off letters or be hard to read
  • Use a strong contrast between slide background and font color
  • Individual words can be emphasized in a contrasting color
  • Try to limit your color palette to two to three colors

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April 5, 2010

Come to NewComm Forum! Here’s your discount

JD LasicaIn 18 days I’ll be at NewComm Forum in San Mateo, Calif., to give a talk on the paths to tomorrow’s journalism. I’m also looking forward to participating in workshops, interactive sessions and discussions around social marketing and social media.

NewComm Forum, sponsored by the Society for New Communications Research (I’m a senior fellow), is one of the best social media gatherings anywhere. It runs April 21-23, with workshops on April 20 (use discount code NCFW100 to save $100).

If you work in communication, marketing or new media, you should come! And now Socialmedia.biz readers can get a special discount:

• Attend the entire four-day event for $995 with this $500 discount code: NCF500

• You can come for one day, April 21, for $395 with this discount code: NCF1D (details below)

“The Social Web – Redefining Business” will be this year’s theme. NewComm will feature a who’s who of social media experts and practitioners from leading companies presenting 40 sessions in five comprehensive tracks:

  • Online Communications & Communities
  • Social CRM
  • Markets are Conversations: From Theory to Practice
  • Understanding the New Media Landscape
  • NewComm Essentials

Keynoters include:

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February 22, 2010

Discount for NewComm Forum attendees

Shel Israel & Laura Fitton
Shel Israel and Laura Fitton at NewComm 2009m (photo (cc) by Kenneth Yeung)

JD LasicaI‘ve been a senior fellow with the nonprofit Society for New Communications Research since shortly after it was founded about 6 years ago and always look forward to the NewComm Forum it holds each spring in Northern California and fall in Boston/Cambridge.

SNCR has just announced the lineup for the next NewComm Forum and is offering a discount to readers of Socialmedia.biz. I’ll also be giving an hourlong presentation on New Paths for Journalism. Details:

What: NewComm Forum, the premier conference focused on helping communications professionals to leverage the power of the social web. Founding fellow Shel Holtz calls it the best event of its kind.

When/where: April 20-23, 2010, San Mateo, Calif.

Theme: The Social Web – Redefining Business

Discount code: NCF133 gets you a $100 discount, plus an additional $200 early bird discount if you register by March 12. Register on this page.

My session: Entrepreneurial journalism: Next year’s media model today
Friday, April 23 at 10:15am

Story after story proclaims a crisis in U.S. journalism, as major news organizations appear on the brink of bankruptcy and the public is left wondering who’ll be left to cover the news. J.D. Lasica, a journalist and social media consultant, argues that a solution can be found not in propping up existing news institutions but in making way for a new generation of
entrepreneurial news gatherers who marry the best of journalism with the dynamic, connective abilities of social media. Continue reading

August 24, 2009

6 experts on corporate blogging best practices

The Society for New Communications Research solicited capsule summaries of corporate blogging best practices offered by some of its members, who are among the top social media consultants in the country.

Shel Israel
Author, Twitterville, co-author, Naked Conversations

shel-israelHumanize: Remember that one fundamental reason for blogging is the humanization of the corporation. Be a real person when you blog. Show yourself doing a job that you have some passion for. Show your fallibility and, above all, do not fall into the trap of mediocrity, where so many corporate blogs wind up.

Serve your reader more than your employer: This is a success strategy. The more generous you are to your readers, the more influential you will be. Send people away from your site through links to competitors when appropriate. You may lose the sale, but in the long run you will gain a loyal customer.

Join conversations before you start new ones: People are already talking about the issues they care the most about. Read what they have to say and add value to the existing conversation. Then when you start a new conversation, you will already have credibility and trust. If you try to initiate a conversation and people don’t know who you are or where you are coming from, then they will either ignore you or mistrust you.

John Cass
Author, Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging

John-CassCommenting: Corporate blogging is not just about the content on your site, it’s also about participating in conversations on other blogs. Respond to comments on your blog, and also comment on other blogs. These conversations can be just as important as building relationships with people on your own site and establishing your reputation in your community.

Tracking conversations: Tracking conversations on other blogs is one of the most difficult aspects of blogging. Fortunately there are now technologies that enable you to track conversations. These include coComment, delicious, Co.mments and Commentful.

Personalization: Personalization is important in writing a blog, as blogs provide employees the chance to break down some of the barriers that exist between customers and companies. The informal style of writing that is possible in a blog can help reach customers who would not pay attention to a company’s statements otherwise. Continue reading