public speaking and how to present are my topics at an upcoming conference

How to present best is my assigned topic at an upcoming conference. Help a fellow out.

As I finish up a PowerPoint presentation, it occurred to me: Why haven’t I asked you all for your insight?

And so I seek your input on my presentation topic. My assigned title is “The Art of Presenting.”

Pretty high-falutin’, right?

So what I wonder is this: What are your one or two best ideas that transform a presentation from “Meh” to “Wow!”??

Enough already with dull presentations

Enough already with dull presentations …

To give you a sense of my presenting obligation, here is the program language:

“A lot of what we do comes down to how we engage with people, communicate and get our message across. When you are asked to create a presentation, your presentation style and visuals need to be spot on. Our presenters will discuss the art of getting your presentation just right. They will share thoughtful tips on how to communicate clearly and concisely during your presentation, followed by tips on how to engage your audience visually.”

My presenting cohort will be the terrific Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association. You can read about the conference here. (And no; I will not be going to Harry Potter World.)

... let's bring on the must-see, compelling presentation. keanu_reeves_ intense hands 1

… let’s bring on the must-see, compelling presentation.

We’ll be the first to admit that “the art of presenting” may be setting the bar a tetch high. But we’re up to the challenge.

Your idea(s) on what makes a presentation terrific (and the opposite) are welcome. Please send them to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Thanks!

We may not all mean the same thing when we discuss workplace ethics. I'd like to hear your ideas, and stories too.

We may not all mean the same thing when we discuss workplace ethics. I’d like to hear your ideas, and stories too.

What are we talking about when we talk about ethics in the workplace? Like most important topics, it may be more difficult to define than we typically imagine.

At the end of this month, I have the opportunity to present on the topic of the ethical workplace. The audience will be organization leaders at the National Association of Bar Executives annual meeting, so my focus will go beyond “Please don’t steal the Post-Its” (though they shouldn’t). Instead, I’m aiming to discuss the ethical decision-points that leaders face daily—hidden as they may be among the workaday grind.

My presentation is nearly done, but I’d like to include some other examples of noteworthy leader ethics, so I invite you to write me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. The anecdote may come from your own organization or from one you’ve heard about. And it can be for attribution or entirely anonymous. In fact, feel free to cast your story to me as a hypothetical. That works just fine.

To help you cogitate on this, here is my presentation description:

“Ethical Decision-Making: The Courage to Say No. Leadership requires making decisions that affect people and resources. This session’s speaker prompts us to consider how we make those important decisions, how to sustain an ethical workplace, and how to deal with the many pressures to do all things and be all things for our members and the public.”

Thank you for sharing your ideas and stories; I look forward to connecting with you!

social media heart love

… but maybe it’s just me.

This Friday, I will join a fellow Bar communicator as we present a seminar on how association leaders can best deal with media—not news outlets, but all the other media that takes up our day: everything from press releases and websites to social media.

State Bar Chief Communications Officer Rick DeBruhl will cover legacy mainstream media channels. I’m the social media portion of the edutainment. Our shared title is “Dealing with the Media—From Mainstream to Social.”

And I’d like your help.

The audience will be attending the annual conference of the Arizona Society of Association Executives (you kind of knew they must have an association, didn’t you?). As they describe themselves:

“AzSAE is for all levels of management and all types of nonprofits, from chief executives to staff managers and from international trade associations to local philanthropic organizations.”

Have you spotted the challenge faced by the event’s speakers? The audience will range from folks who understand communications like the back of their hand, and those who oversee an association and may know little about the topic.

Hmmm. How granular to get? But if we remain general, we’re bound to annoy the more fluent parts of the audience who may be hoping for nuts-and-bolts takeaways.

So I wonder if you have a suggestion for our portion of the event. I’m nearly done with my presentation prep, but then it occurred to me that I should crowdsource a solution (why it took a social media maven so long to stumble on that notion is a mystery).

You may know little about associations (congratulations). But before you avert your gaze, I point out that many professionals, especially millennials, identify social media and websites as key channels through which they learn association news.

One of the results from a 2012 Millennial Impact survey

One of the results from a 2012 Millennial Impact survey

In addition,you certainly know which of the member organizations you belong to “get it right” and which routinely fail to meet your expectations.

So you may be uniquely qualified to help answer these questions:

  • What communications channels work best to “reach you” about association news?
  • What techniques or tools used by associations make you feel most “at home” in an association?
  • What association strategies leave you cold and make your association appear irrelevant?

Thanks! I’ll report back about how our insights were received.