Thursday, August 13, 2009

Creating tweetable presentations

Editor's note: I'm sharing this guest post from my don't get caught news & info blog because it's timely for today's speakers, who need to be prepared when your audience wants to live-tweet -- or report on -- your presentation on Twitter. Our guest poster is Carmen R. Gonzalez, the Manager of Strategy and Communications at Healthcare Communications Group, a leading clinical trial recruitment and retention firm. Follow her on Twitter at @crgonzalez or visit her site Atomic Latina.

If you want to get more “web mileage” our of your PowerPoint presentations, you’ve got to prepare a few key elements to assist your viewership in sharing your message. There are three basic rules to turbo-charging the viral marketing potential of your speaking event:

1. Boil down your key points into 140-character size messages. By summarizing your primary headlines into tweetable chunks of text, you are hand-feeding your listeners to tweet your remarks. You can also draft quotes that illustrate your point into the 140-character format for the same purpose. The bottom line is if it’s short and sweet, it is easier to tweet!

2. Use hashtags! Most conference attendees these days have their laptops and cell phones handy, so you don’t think it rude if your listeners are doing double duty in your session. Instead, encourage them to tweet about your presentation and offer them a unique hashtag to create a buzz on Twitter. For the uninitiated, a hashtag is the number symbol used in front of an acronym, as in #tweetspeech or #smarttalk. So while you are offering gems of wisdom (in tweetable format), you are also helping your listeners to circulate those gems with an identifiable stamp.

3. Use links! Just as hashtags help tweeters to find your comments and locate fellow presentation attendees, URL links help everyone to source you, your citations, reference materials, and other people who are noteworthy to your speaking topic. While you are building your speech, think about links that make sense and help your audience get a fuller picture of what you are talking about. Use humor and photography to get your point across too. Make every effort to refine your presentation into something memorable.

For the ultimate Triple Tweet Effect, combine rules 1, 2, and 3. Example: If it’s short and sweet, it is easier to tweet. #Tweetable Make every presentation a tweetable moment.

Related posts: Better ways to Twitter your meeting

Tweeting at meetings gets controversial

Inviting live tweets at your meeting

are women worse than men at speaking?

Here's an inspiring post from the United Kingdom, on a site called The F Word: Contemporary UK Feminism. While it's written about women in engineering, it focuses on why women aren't prevalent in certain fields and what can be done to encourage women and girls to try. But the start focuses on misperceptions about women and their skills, including public speaking:
Women are rubbish at, engineering and technology, manual labour, electronics, computers, at being chefs (despite being expected to cook for the family), at competition, at debates (despite apparently being so argumentative), at giving speeches (despite apparently never being able to stop talking)… the list goes on (nearly) ad infinitum....How can half of the population of the world be naturally, innately worse than the other half at practically everything? The answer is: we are not! ....The truth of the matter is that for each skill or activity, some women are worse than some men, some men are worse than some women, some women are worse than some women and some men are worse than some men. It’s pretty logical, really.
Author Wisrutta Atthakor ends the piece by pointing out the accomplishments made by women in the past to fight for things like the right to speak in public, as inspiration to today's would-be engineers.

Related posts: Who talks more: Men or women?

give us your quotes

Do you have any favorite quotations about women and public speaking--by men or women? Here's one of mine:

History has many themes. One of them is that women should be quiet. (Kathleen Hall Jamieson, in Eloquence in an Electronic Age)

I'd love to compile your suggestions for a future project on the blog. Leave your suggestions in the comments and if you have a reference source, include that as well! I'm looking forward to your suggestions.