Presentations: Who do you design for?

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Concepts, Conferences, Speaking, Technology, Thoughts, Viral | Posted on 21-05-2009-05-2008

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As I prepare for a 4-hour social web workshop at OACUHO in Toronto this weekend, I find myself asking this question….

Should I be designing my slides more for the people who are there, or for the people who aren’t there?

Here’s where the thought came from.  I was browsing through my old presentations on SlideShare and realized that I’m reaching a much wider audience post-presentation. We’ve all been in this stage of ‘Presentation Zen’  and ‘Slideology‘ for many months as everyone tries to make their slides more simplistic, but are they still able to tell the story to the casual viewer online, and do they still reflect the message enough?  In other words, is there enough meat on the bones of your slides to transcend into the online world effectively?

See what I mean?

How to Recruit Students using New Media Outlets – MACAC 2009
Presentation: 40 people
Online: 930 views in 2 weeks

FacebookGate – Online Webinar
Presentation: 2 webinars, 20 people each
Online: 1,085 views in 4 months

Rock Enroll: Integrating Social Media into your Recruitment Strategy – MPSEOC
Presentation: 60 people
Online: 1,636 views in 9 months

The Recruitment Long Tail – Stamats 08  (Slidecast – Audio + Slides to tell the story)
Presentation: 150 people
Online: 1020 views in 6 months

After these presentations happened in real life, they reached an audience on average 15 x’s larger on the web.  Surely not all visitors viewed the whole thing, not all of them stayed after the first 5 slides, but they all came across the content. And if was easier to follow, would they stick around longer?

Which leads me to think: How can I create engaging presentation slides that capture the needs of both my live audience and my online audience? The live audience ALWAYS comes first. Bottom line. But would a little more clarification on a slide hurt for when you post it online later? Will it ruin your presentation? If you’re engaging, lively and captivating, does it even matter?

I’ll talk for several minutes this weekend on this slide:

picture-8

But I wouldn’t expect someone on Slideshare to spend more than several seconds on it. On the other hand, you don’t want your slides to end up on the other extreme:

Just something to think about as you prepare for your next presentation. Be remarkable, be rememberable, and be aware of your post-presentation audience.  See you on the stage!

3 Part Series: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter!

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Technology | Posted on 20-05-2009-05-2008

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I’ve done over 25 webinars and conference presentations in the last  12 months, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.  (If you’re going to be at OACUHO, NEACAC, CICV, or AICKU in the next 3 weeks, let me know so we can meet!)

With a typical conference slot at 1 hour and the topics ranging in all areas, it’s hard to focus on a certain site and the ‘how-to’ of it for very long.  Every audience is at a different place in their knowledge and every person within that audience varies even greater.  That’s why I’m excited about my upcoming 3-part webinar series through Academic Impressions!

This webinar series will be one of the first times I am able to dig into the how-to and practical application of three of the most popular social web sites out there: Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.  Each session is 90 minutes long and includes a presentation + Q&A time. If you’re ready to learn more and get in-depth with each of these sites, this is the webinar from you.  I’ll be sharing the tips and tricks of each site and how it can help you with your efforts.

I’ve been told that there are over 40 registrations already, 2 months before the event.  You don’t want to miss out. (And if you need a brochure to share with your boss or co-workers, here it is.)

You can sign up for one, two or all three sessions.  Pick and choose what you want to hear or learn!

Increasing Yield and Enrollments Using Social Media – Facebook, YouTube and Twitter :: Webcast Series

July 9: Using Facebook to increase Yield and Enrollments ($350)

July 16: Using YouTube to increase Yield and Enrollments ($350)

July 23: Using Twitter to increase Yield and Enrollments ($350)

(Or sign up for all three for the discounted rate of $900!)

Click to Register for the Webinar Series today!

Simple Tip: Find and Follow

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Higher Education, Recruitment, Social Media, Technology, Thoughts, Twitter, Web | Posted on 18-05-2009-05-2008

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We’re heavy in commencement season, which means hundreds and thousands of people are sitting uncomfortably close to strangers and relatives for what seems like eternity to watch someone walk across the stage for 15 seconds.

So what’s a person to do when boredom sets in and they’ve read the pamphlet 3 times?  For some people, it’s time to update Twitter.

Bored Commencement

So what’s an institution to do?  Find and Follow.

Get on http://search.twitter.com, search for your institution and try several variations.  Abbreviations of the name, acronyms of the school, and the words commencement, graduation, etc.   You might be surprised at how many people you find.  And isn’t that what Twitter is all about?  Expanding your network to be able to interact with and share information with people who have an interest or connection to your institution.

Define your Efforts: Social Web Recruitment Funnel

Posted by Brad J. Ward | Posted in Facebook, Flickr, Higher Education, Marketing, Recruitment, Research, Social Media, Technology, Thoughts, Twitter, Web, YouTube, Zinch | Posted on 13-05-2009-05-2008

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I’ve had this thought bouncing around in my head that came out of a client visit/strategy session… a visualization of the traditional recruitment funnel in terms of the social web.  This is what I came up with.

(Click Photo to Enlarge)

*NOTE* –   This chart is by no means inclusive of all sites or tools available. This chart is meant as a visualization of strategy to help you think about a framework for your recruitment efforts.  This chart is meant to be thought about, modified to fit, and executed as resources are available.

The Social Web Recruitment Funnel

The Funnel resembles a traditional recruitment funnel (suspects -> prospects -> applicants -> admits -> enrolled), and is designed to dissect 3 areas of recruitment:  Seek, Engage and Retain.

Seek.

The students are not always going to look for you.  Traditional methods such as name buys, print and email still hold a place in your marketing/recruitment arsenal.  But take a good look at web-based tools and sites, for example: Zinch, CollegeBoard and Cappex. Facebook might also be a method of seeking potential applicants and this platform can be leveraged as a great place for prospective student Q&A.  Use email and print to reinforce your message and to drive students to your social web efforts. Your .edu website is still important and things such as ‘Get more info’ need to be prominent and easy to find/fill out.

Engage.

This is where it gets fun.  Build your social web presence to start engaging and interacting with these prospective students.  Think outside of the box. Never before have we had access to so many opportunities to connect and utilize free tools, but approach with caution and don’t overwhelm your audience.  Don’t bite off more than you can chew.  It’s easier to make your web presence bigger. It’s much harder to shrink your web presence and cut connections and friendships with others on a platform you decide to no longer utilize or maintain. Allow them the opportunity to engage with you from the moment they show interest to the moment they step on campus.

Retain.

After the applications come in, your pool has decreased significantly in size.  Take the opportunity to create community with these students and allow them to interact with each other.  Host the conversation or set up a Facebook group for them to interact.  Promote it heavily through traditional methods such as email and print, but drive them to the conversation. If possible, scale back your efforts to a smaller collection of tools for this select group and focus on community management and getting them excited about your school and brand. Outside of the social web, continue interactions via yielding events and personal phone calls.  Use the web to enhance these connections and to network the students together.

Final Thoughts

These thoughts are from the 30,000 ft. view and hundreds of other decisions and ideas would go into each effort. A well-defined strategy would incorporate many, but not all, of these social web tools.  The most important thing is to know where your audience is and cater to them.

If you have any thoughts or comments, leave a message below or shoot me a message on Twitter (@bradjward).


Are you ready to Ignite the Fuego and work with BlueFuego on your strategy? Contact us today.
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