Saturday, January 05, 2013

12 things to try in 2013

It's a New year, and time to try out some new stuff. Here's my advice for speaking, media and social media, which is the stuff that I know about. There are 12 things, some of which you may already do. No matter, just pick one you haven't tried yet and give it a go. Good luck, and have a terrific year.

3 speaking things

1) Drop the PowerPoint OK, maybe not every slide. But if you're a slide user, think about how you would present if you had no visuals. It happened to me last year when I spoke at a TEDx event and the projection system failed. However, no-one except the other professional speaker who was there noticed my brief look of panic, and all was well. So, maybe just for one speech, forget the slides. (Or if you never use slides, try working one or two into your speech). 

2) Use the back-channel Encourage your audience to use Twitter, Facebook and online surveys to record their thoughts during your speech. If you're feeling brave, interact with them directly, and work their comments into your content. They're going to be using social networks during your speech anyway, so try to join them there too.

3) Use video feedback There's huge value in watching your speeches on video, and analysing what works and what doesn't. Aim to video (and watch) as many of your speeches as you can. You will see improvements immediately.

4 media things

4) Know your organisation Yes, of course you know what your organisation does. But if you were asked detailed questions about its past activities and future plans, would you sound knowledgeable? I always recommend to my clients that every media spokesperson should have a one-page company background sheet with them at all times. It needs to be updated and re-issued regularly (now is a good time), so that everyone is informed and up-to-date. 

5) Keep ahead of the competition People used to say "knowledge is power". It's still true. Aim to keep up to date with your rivals' activity by setting up Google alerts on their company and products. You will find that you are often better informed about their business than their own media spokespeople.

6) Listen to other experts Make sure that you have feeds set up to provide you with the thoughts of other experts in your area. They will let you know what the big issues are, and what the prevailing mood is.

7) Upload your own shows These days, anyone can set up a video or audio archive, and live streaming is much easier than it used to be. If you can't get on TV or radio, make your own.

5 social media things

8) Google hangouts Google+ provides the opportunity for live video chats with a group of people. Many experts are now using scheduled chats to demonstrate their services and help others. It's a great thing to try. 

9) Facebook groups A lot of the real interaction on Facebook is happening in the groups. They are easy to set up and run, so why not create one in your area of expertise?

10) Twitter chats These have been around for some time, and attract hundreds of users who gather at the same time each week to exchange information and answer questions. Being the organiser is a great way to position yourself as an expert.

11) Go live on YouTube Live streaming on YouTube lets you broadcast just as though you were on TV, and your audience will probably be more engaged.

12) Blog controversially People love to hear a well-argued contrary view. Pick one issue each week and write your own alternative view on it. You will quickly build a following.

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