Saturday I had the opportunity to attend PodCamp Cleveland at the Cuyahoga Valley Career Center. For those of you unfamiliar with PodCamp the local organizers Website describes, it as an "UnConference dedicated to podcasting, blogging, video blogging and all things New Media."
Why "UnConference" you may ask? Well while I did not ask anyone, I will say that it is because you are not obligated to attend all or any of the concurring sessions, nor do they expect you to sit through a session that is not particularly appealing to you. This may or may not be true.
Well on to my experience - it was a great day filled with some interesting sessions and great for the wallet - FREE! This was my second PodCamp, and while I believe my first experience held a larger selection of sessions I can say that I interacting with more people this time around. Meeting new people is always a plus.
I was drawn to PodCamp Cleveland primarily because of a session entitled "Death by Bullet Points Words, and Clip Art - Creating Memorable Presentations." To say that presenter Lauri Burkons was good would be an understatement! One of my pet peeves with PowerPoint presentations is the lack of actual presenting. I'm sure you have experienced it, you're in a conference room anxiously awaiting the start of the presentation when you receive a packet of information. As you glance over the packet, the speaker comes forward and proceeds to read verbatim the information you have in your hand. Argh! I walk away asking why didn't they just hand it out and let me read it!
Burkons' presentation centered on effective communication and focusing on the presenter rather than reading a screen. I will not repeat her entire presentation but some keys I walked away with included - treat the preparation of a presentation just as you would any other writing project. Begin the process by brainstorming or freewriting on the topic. Prepare an outline to assist with flow and ultimately with the design of the final product. When presenting be aware of time constraints and don't go over your time limit.
Social Media Strategy
The other session I was pumped to attend was Deborah Brown's discussion of "Creating a Customer-Focused Social Media Strategy". Brown of AllWriteInk gave a lively break down of the ins and outs of developing a Social Media Strategy, and most importantly tips on how to fit social media into your schedule
Some of her key points were knowing the brands you are working to market and organizing a timeline to utilize social technology i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Blogging etc. to promote the brands.
If you ever see Deborah Brown on a conference schedule no that she is a burst of energy and brings good information.