November 12, 2009

Bulk view

My talks in 2009

  1. Totally Rocking Your Drupal Development Environment, IBM
  2. Totally Rocking Your Development Environment, DrupalCon 2009
  3. Totally Rocking Your Development Environment, Drupal Peru
  4. Totally Rocking IBM: FutureBlue and Web 2.0
  5. New Employees and a Smarter Planet (slides only)
  6. Networking outside the Traditional Office
  7. Networking outside the Firewall
  8. Making the Most of Sametime Unyte
  9. How the Web is Changing the Way We Learn – Mesh panel
  10. Get Smart with IBM Web 2.0 – GBS Tech Talk
  11. Four Generations in the Workplace: Top 10
  12. Signs of Multi-generational Issues
  13. Enterprise 2.0 and Knowledge Management
  14. Staging and Deployment Panel, DrupalCon
  15. The Read/Write Internet
  16. Awesomest Job Search Ever
  17. ABCs of Gen X, Ys, Zs – MyCharityConnects conference
  18. ABCs of Gen X, Ys, Zs (revised) – Terry Fox Foundation
  19. Totally Rocking Presentations at IBM – Extreme Blue
  20. Getting Started with LinkedIn and Twitter
  21. Leveraging social media for Innovation Discovery
  22. Key Trends in Web Channel Delivery (EDC)
  23. Travel scenarios
  24. IBM TLE: IBMillennials (NA, AP)
  25. The Teacher’s Guide to Web 2.0 at School
  26. The Shy Connector (slides only)
  27. Smarter Work (slides only)
  28. IBM TLE: Remote Presentations That Rock

I delivered my presentations to about 1,300 people and reached about 35,000 additional viewers online. I didn’t do a lot of big conferences this year (minimizing travel!), but I accepted the occasional invitation. Still… that’s a lot of work, and a lot of reach.

Many of my presentations are externally available at . Please feel free to contact me if you want to find out about other sessions!

Wow. Without really planning to, I achieved my target of having, on average, a talk every other week. Although really, this was more like several weeks of back-to-back talks and some weeks of rest…

Compare with my talks from 2008:

  1. Wikis
  2. Web 2.0 Strategy Recommendations for Practice Blogs
  3. Web 2.0 at Work: In Pursuit of Passion (slides only)
  4. Web 2.0 and the University
  5. Web 2.0 and Retail
  6. Top 10 Web 2.0 Tools You Should Try (IBM, given twice)
  7. Top 10 Web 2.0 Tools Every IBM Consultant Should Try (IBM, given twice)
  8. The Demographic Revolution (IBM keynote segment, given twice)
  9. The Art of Blogging
  10. Taking it Offline/Online: Combining Online and Offline Social Networking
  11. Sowing Seeds: A Tech Evangelist’s Guide to Grassroots Adoption
  12. Social Media Business Models
  13. Setting Up Your Drupal Development Environment
  14. No Time to Blog?
  15. New Media, New Generation
  16. New Bee’s Guide to Web 2.0 at IBM
  17. Networking for New Hires
  18. Millennials and University Relations
  19. IBM: The Next Generation
  20. IBM TLE: I.B.Millennials
  21. How to sketch with the Nintendo DS (slides only)
  22. How to Connect with LinkedIn
  23. Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work (slides only)
  24. From Webkinz and Club Penguin to Facebook and Myspace
  25. Creating w3 sites with Drupal
  26. Blog Your Way Out of a Job… and Into a Career (IBM and external)

That’s interesting. Also 26 separate topics… I hadn’t realized I did that many presentations. It’s all fun, though!

Next year, I want to talk more about communication, connection, and collaboration. I want to get better at recording and posting videos. I want to play with more sketches and maybe even animation, too.

My first public talk was at a Linux conference in 2001. In the past 8 years, I’ve learned tons, and I look forward to learning and sharing even more!

How I learned to stop worrying and love the webinar: Part 2: From audience to participants

Speakers and audiences see very different things.

Looking out from the stage, you see a large group of people. As much as you try to make sure that you make eye contact with individuals, you’re always aware that you’re talking with a group. Your language might even reflect that. For example, in a typical raise-hands interaction, you might ask, “How many people here have ever experienced this?”

That kind of question makes little sense when you’re part of the audience. You think of yourself as an individual, not just part of some group. You don’t know how many people have or haven’t experienced that. You can’t answer for other people. But you know that what the speaker really means to ask is if you have ever experienced whatever it is, and you’re supposed to raise your hand if you did. There’s a gap when the speaker’s mental model of “the audience” doesn’t mesh with your mental model of you as you.

As a member of the audience, you’re peripherally aware of other people, particularly if you’re at the back and you can see people’s reactions and body language. It’s an odd combination of individuality and anonymity, of being yourself and being part of a group. In a darkened auditorium, you blend into the crowd, but you’re always evaluating the talk’s points with your personal perspectives. You understand that the speaker needs to connect with everyone, but you feel disconnected if the speaker focuses on other parts of the audience more.

Personally, I find this pretty challenging as a speaker and as a participant. I know some speakers go through an almost mechanical process to make sure that they make eye contact with everyone in the room (while not looking as if they’re just sweeping the room left to right). I’ve even seen suggested grids and sequences in public speaking books. But sometimes I catch myself looking at one side more than another. As part of the audience, I find it difficult to sit still and passively listen. I want to interact with the material. I want that back-and-forth. And I want to get to know my fellow audience-members, too. I’m curious about what brings them to the talk, and what they’re thinking.

One of the reasons why I like giving remote presentations more than giving real-life presentations is that it’s easy for me to “make eye contact”. I just have to remember to look at the webcam every so often, instead of focusing on the scrolling text chat or my webcam image. It’s not real eye contact–people know I can’t see them back–but in a large room, it’s difficult to make meaningful in-person eye contact, and webcam connections seem to be okay. I feel more approachable online, and I get more comments and questions too.

It’s also easier for me to get to know people as individuals, and to talk to them as individuals. This takes a little conscious effort on my part, but as I get used to the idea, I’ll get better at asking questions and presenting even more conversationally. I love how the text chat includes people’s names. I love how people agree or disagree with each other in the conversation. I love actually seeing the list of participants—I tend to recognize names better than I recognize faces. ;) I love the fact that when people ask questions on the phone, everyone can hear them clearly. In real-life presentations, they’d either have to find a microphone, or shout their question to me and I’d repeat it from the stage so everyone could hear.

It would be interesting to explore how a remote presentation could feel less like a presentation (speaker, audience) and more like a conversation (participants).

Does this style work for everything? Probably not. But it works for more situations than people would think, and it’s one of the reasons why I find remote presentations surprisingly fun.

How I learned to stop worrying and love the webinar:
Part 1: The best seats in the house
Next: Part 3: Reading the room