Slidecast: New Media, New Generation

new media, new generation

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I gave a panel presentation entitled “New Media, New Generation” at the Corporate Voices meeting in Washington DC on September 9, 2008. Around 40 director- and partner-level people (many in HR) attended from private corporations and nonprofit organizations. On the panel with me were Paull Young (Senior Account Executive, Converseon) and John Wolf (Senior Director, PR, Marriott). Things that went well:

  • People loved the informal style of my hand-drawn presentation. They told me that the stick figures were both clear and engaging.
  • People also really appreciated my energy, enthusiasm, and passion.
  • I met lots of people and gave them tips on social media.
  • I enjoyed figuring out a good structure for the presentation. The symmetric structure (new media = social media, new generation = net generation, and a 2×2 matrix) was easy to remember, and I figured out how to make the topics flow into each other.
  • I told stories as part of my presentation, and those stories were easy to remember as well.
  • Joining people for dinner beforehand and listening to a number of the other presentations gave me not only a sense of what people were interested in, but enough rapport with people so that I felt comfortable chatting.
  • I remembered to record audio and video, and to ask someone to pay attention to the video camera. Most of the talk was captured on video – hooray! I’ve added the recorded audio to my presentation on Slideshare (see above), and I’ve synchronized it with the slides.

Things I can do even better next time:

  • I can update my Talks page before heading to the presentation.
  • I can ask the organizers for an attendee list so that I can get a better sense of who the audience members are.
  • With a little more polish, I can make the presentation handout a good opportunity for more branding and help.
  • I can work on pausing instead of using filler words like “right?”
  • A proper video camera set up on a tripod near the front would give me better-quality video recordings.
  • I can ask the organizers for tips on which airport I should use.
  • I can ask my frequent-flyer friends how they make the most of travel time. Two hours is too short to really get into code. Maybe I should go earlier? Maybe those frequent flyer clubs are useful for something after all. Maple Leaf Club Worldwide (Air Canada) is CA$599/year. How much would I need to travel in order to make something like that worthwhile, and do I want to travel that much?
  • I can bring a phone that isn’t on the fritz. =)
  • I enjoyed listening to your presentation and watching the engaging hand drawn slides. You sounded very enthusiastic and energized which I am sure made your audience sit up and listen. Well done and thanks for sharing!

  • I can work on pausing instead of using filler words like “right?”

    i do this too. i also overuse the word “awesome” :)

    don’t spend $599 – make sure you’re collecting Aeroplan miles for every flight you take, and you’ll hit 25k points really quickly (at which point i think the membership is $200) and probably hit 35k at which point it’s free. also keep in mind that you can get aeroplan points on a very long list of airlines. even if you don’t book the ticket yourself, you can get the points at checkin.

    Another option if you can get it is the aeroplanplus AmEx. $499 gets you all sorts of travel insurance, ML lounge access, and 2 free short-haul tickets.

    And no, I don’t spend too much time on, not me :)

    • Leigh, you’re always full of great ideas! =) When I find myself travelling enough to get one of those memberships for free, then I know it’ll probably be worth doing so. =)

      Unfortunately, Philippine Airlines isn’t part of the Star Alliance (or of any alliance, I think =( ), so our last trip to the Philippines is going to languish in the great frequent-flyer limbo. But that’s okay – next time… <grin>

  • Paul Bernard

    I can work on pausing instead of using filler words like “right?”

    1) I wouldn’t be so quick to condemn all of your filler words. Some of them did seem out of place, but not all that many. I noticed however that during a couple of points you made, the audience responded positively to your “right?”s. I don’t remember which slide I noticed it happening with first but you were getting excited and punctuated the point with two “Right?”s.

    I would think that affirmative audience response in this sort of talk could be a good thing. Yes?

    2) I like your graphical style. Please don’t polish it too much. I doubt that it would look anywhere near a good. There was one slide that I had difficulty with however. It was your 2×2 axis “Have Want” corporate culture graph. I had a bit of trouble understanding it, and while I was studying it, I wasn’t listening to you. After getting my head around it it was still bothering me. I don’t understand why though. I’m wondering if perhaps the graph broke some unknown (to me) convention about which rows or columns should contain the “positive” and “negative” indicators.

    • Paul: Yes! <laugh>

      2×2: Yup, gotta work on that one more. =) In the presentation with my last-minute edits, I added some circles to highlight which cell I was talking about, but the Slideshare one didn’t have the circles. I was playing around with different configurations for the 2×2 matrix I put in there. I couldn’t put the Have:No,Want:Yes cell in the first column because I wanted the arrow to to point forward, which in left-to-right cultures means putting it in the second column. That meant I was choosing between:

      |      |     | Want |       |  
      |      |     | No   | Yes   |
      | Have | No  | X    | ->    |
      |      | Yes | ?    | check |
      |      |     | Want |       | 
      |      |     | No   | Yes   |
      | Have | Yes | ?    | check |
      |      | No  | X    | ->    |
      |      |     | Have  |      |
      |      |     | Yes   | No   |
      | Want | Yes | check | ->   |
      |      | No  | ?     | X    |
      |      |     | Have  |      |
      |      |     | Yes   | No   |
      | Want | No  | ?     | X    |
      |      | Yes | check | ->   |

      I went with (2), but on further reflection, (1) would’ve been even better, and it would follow normal reading order, too. It would contrast the frowny with the smiley, and the axes wouldn’t be inverted. =) Next time! Kaizen – relentless improvement. Thanks for the prompt!

      Also, regarding graphical style: I don’t think it’ll get much more polished than this, unless I actually manage to figure out how to draw anything aside from stick figures… =)

      • Paul Bernard

        (1) would’ve been even better, and it would follow normal reading order, too.

        You have it absolutely correct and I learn something else yet again. Changing the axis label ordering was what was confusing me so much.

  • Allen

    Instead of saying “new generation”, you might want to be more inclusive like Worldcom did in their 2000 ad compaign: “Generation D – It’s not an age, it’s an attitude.”

    More here:

    • In general, when I talk about Web 2.0 and things like that, I point out that it isn’t just a Gen Y thing. Heck, my mom has two blogs: one about the business of photography, and the other one about our family stories. =)

      I do talk about some Gen Y-specific things, though, and part of it is in response to what people tell me about their perceptions of Gen Y.

      For example, I find it interesting that Gen Y coverage in popular media occasionally includes quotes from older managers complaining about the new generation’s lack of work ethic because they’re not interested in working late nights, weekends, and holidays. Looking at the world through my Gen Y glasses, I’m very firmly in the camp of working sustainably and having a life instead of burning myself out just for work.

      The gap between people who check Facebook during work and people who frown on this “goofing off” also often looks like a generation gap. People who grew up with watercooler conversations might not immediately appreciate that for many people, the watercooler is online.

      Different priorities and needs for privacy seem more like a life stage thing rather than a generational thing. At this point in my life, I get a lot of benefits from risking and sharing more than most people I know do, but I can understand why other people choose otherwise.

      The fact that my generation is still in the process of figuring out a whole lot about work, love, and life is also a generational thing. Most older people have things mostly figured out, or at least at the point where they feel that they know something.

      =) So I’m mostly inclusive, and I know people in various generations who fit the early-adopter profile, but there are also specific things about my cohort that are worth exploring. I don’t think we’re more special than other generations–not in the Millennials-are-going-to-save-us-all kind of thing that pop media sometimes does when they’re not complaining about our work ethic!–but it’s worth thinking about the similarities and the differences, particularly as I’ve got the blinders of assumptions on (but life has always worked this way!).

      There’s probably a post in here somewhere…