Social Media’s Impact on Presentations…

FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram are just a few of the social media sites that allow people of all ages to connect is a variety of ways.  According to Brian Solis a futurist and digital analyst – social media is pushing the limits to how information is presented.  Solis, B. (2011) states, “Social media has forced presentations to become an interactive conversation.”  He goes on to explain there are six effective ways to effectively bring social media into presentations.

  1. “Listen” – The first step is to get to know your audience by listening to the social media. Go where they go to hang out in terms of social media and find out what they like, what they want and what motivates them.  This is a great way to make a connection with your audience in a more relaxed setting quickly.
  2. “Create” – Solis explains that have establishing your foundational context the next step is to create a well-crafted message which may involve “repeatable sound bites, viral infographics, slide share documents or video”. The goal is share ability to drive connection and incite interest.
  3. “Present” – Here Solis suggests deliberately displaying social media object such as live chatter, auto tweet live or live-sketchers to make them feel like they are a part of the story.
  4. “Broadcast” – Reciprocity is the key to get traction on your message and you can do this through a variety of social media channels. He goes on to recommend to invite your audience to join in on the discussion through the livestreaming media choices you prefer.
  5. “Measure” – Even though the process of reviewing statistical data can be daunting Solis advises it is important to measure how effective your communication tools are working for you. So do not forget this critical step.
  6. “Adapt” – Lastly do not forget to capture and apply the information you obtain through the social media to make a meaningful connection and adapt based on your findings. Adjust visual aids, context and delivery to make the messaging more relevant to the targeted audience.

In short, incorporating social media into your presentations will create a more interactive and mutual beneficial experience for both speaker and listeners and more likely to be remembered.


Solis, B. (2011). 6 Ways Social Media Helps Your Presentation Resonate. Retrieved from


Location Based Computing…

According to Gartner another hot new trend that is transforming how people connect is the location based computing.  Although the technology is not new such as the commonly used geographic information systems (GPS) location mapping, where it is going may be.

How basic LBS works is this…

There are five basic components: a mobile network, service provider, a content provider, position component and device.   By using a mobile network to send data and provide service the user will activate the positioning system.  The positioning system operates off of satellite or radio signals to pinpoint its location.  From there the content provider will give the end user geo specific information.

A location based information system (LBIS) is another technology that is important to consider when it comes to mobility.  A LBIS integrate GPS, positioning technology, software development platforms and mobile phones.  What does this mean?  It means it uses the mobile based location provider architecture to provide general real-time application with visualization.  Imagine this – with the right software you could point your device and click to instantly track other devices or information for visual display or instant download.

Today most location based computing is used for marketing purposes.  Location based marketing such as Groupon adapts information based on the location, messages offers, deals and incentives delivered right to the user’s device.  This technology is used globally to connect people with the right marketing information to promote branding for many companies today.  This makes accessibility to consumers infinite in terms of possible connections and exchanging of information.

Some of the drawbacks to this technology are connectivity, processing, and accuracy issues.  Connectivity or transmission issues such as with cellular communication networks can fade in and out, interference, disconnects, or bandwidth problems can be very irritating and time consuming.  With some devices the processing power is just not there, nor is the storage, or energy capabilities.  Another concern is accuracy.  Many GPS require routine fixes to address problems related to the positioning system or disruptions due to weather interference or other impeding conditions.   Regardless, the benefits of quick relatable information make most users tolerant for this technology.

With this in mind, if the LBS can work to bring relevant marketing information to people anywhere at any time, then why not apply the same concept to presentations to fit the audience.  Think about this with the right application software a person can travel and then quickly adapt the presentation based on the target audience and their demographics.  Wah – la making the experience more actionable for everyone!

3D Technology Trends…

As a wide eyed juvenile there was nothing more exciting than staring at the cinema screen with clunky red and blue glasses on as an image jumped out at you. Or how about seeing a 3D image displayed at a click of the button uttering the words “help me obi wan Kenobi you’re my only hope”. Now leaping forward in time – the hot new trend in technology seems to becoming an even bigger reality.

Most 3D technology is associated with movies, games and more recently in printing. The mix of colors, lighting and textures help bring images to life and awakens the senses. The 3D Architecture modeling is nothing new but transforming from 2D to 3D can make a difference. Two-dimensional design only shows how long and wide something is, whereas 3D can measure how low, how wide, and how deep an image is playing on depth perception. Whether it is TV, laptops, or printing – creating a new vivid third dimensional image experience is a hot new trend in technology.

In a press release on October 6, 2015 Synaptics announced its “ClearPad® ClearForce™ force-sensing solutions” technology for smartphones. According to Synaptics. (2015) “ClearForce enables OEMs to differentiate smartphones by providing customers with new dimensions in user interfaces such as speed scrolling, zoom, gaming, and text or photo editing by applying variable force with a finger or stylus.”   Synaptics adds that the ClearForce technology will include the following capabilities:

“Variable speed scrolling

Picture zoom and panning

Function preview and selection

Continuously variable gaming control functions

Unlock and wake up

Right-side mouse click behavior (open contextual menus)

Line thickness control while drawing (e.g., when writing Chinese characters and creating artwork)

Image editing (brightness, contrast, saturation)

Upper case and symbol selection (to bypass keyboard mode changes)” – Synaptics (2015).

Synaptics is associated with a leading electronics company Samsung and expects to have this technology on the market by early 2016 – only available on smartphones. But the goal according to Synaptics is to expand the software capability to tablets, touch screens and wearables. With this in mind imagine how cool it would be to give a presentation that will literally pop with incredible visual aids with a simple touch of the screen.

May the force be with you…


Synaptics. (2015). Synaptics Announces ClearForce Technology for Smartphones. Retrieved


COM/218 – Media types for presentations

The benefits of using media in presentation are they can add interest, credibility, make it easier for the audience to understand and remember the speech, as well as help advance your argument.  Old media tools such as newspapers, magazines and other printed press material has been replaced with more interactive and visual stimulating tools such as chat rooms, webcast or virtual environments, audiovisual tools such as PowerPoint, Prezi and Keynote.

It is hard for me to imagine a presentation without the use of PowerPoint since in my current job this is the norm for our work environment.  Before PowerPoint the use of flip charts, whiteboards, transparencies, and hard copy handouts was the more common media options.  Of course I am dating myself by sharing that these tools were the norm decades ago.  But as I mentioned PowerPoint seems to be the preferred choice in a corporate environment as it provides versatility in terms of what and how information is displayed.  As well as it can also be easily changed to fit the audience or different listener based scenarios.

I have also noticed a change in terms of conference rooms to support advancing media types such as “huddle rooms” with a table, high top chairs and large flat screen TV, webcast connection tool, and a video camera to link adjoining groups no matter where they may reside.  The cool thing about the huddle room setups is it enables for a greater form of collaboration with no limits to physical miles – breaking down the stuffy conference room or board room environments.

The use of Skype seems to be another trend in my work industry, but I am not a big fan as I have noticed that the connection can be a bit sketchy in some places.  It does work well for smaller groups such as project collaboration but for more professional media sources would recommend using WebEx or similar software based tools that enable to presenter to govern the activity better.

In short, whatever media tool you opt to use for presentation purposes, just know that the sky is the limit in terms of choices.  There are objects, models, charts, graphs, videos, animation and the list could go on.  My recommendation would be to always consider what fits best for your scenario, make sure it is well balanced in terms of visual and audio appeal, and leaves the audience with the feeling that their time was well spent in tuning in to what information you wanted to share.

COM/218 – Ways to engage an audience in a presentation

As a presenter you have the challenge to keep you audience engaged – get their attention and keep it.  Some ways you can do this are:

Ask a provocative question.  Get your audience thinking by asking a powerful question on the topic you are presenting.  The question should challenge traditional ideologies or customs.  For example, Martin Luther King Jr. in his “I have a dream” speech posed the question “When will you be satisfied?” – Martin Luther King Jr. to invoke emotion on the topic of diverse injustice.

Another method to bring the audience in and add weight to the topic of discussion is to add statistical facts.  This can be done in a variety of ways, but the figures should come from a credible source, relate to the topic and accurately add value to the discussion.

Sharing a personal experience that relates to the topic is a good way to make the presentation personal and add interest.  It also can show the audience that you believe in what you are presenting and adds sincerity to the theme.

In the end, whatever method you use keeping the audience interest from beginning to end and giving them something to remember will make the experience more meaningful for both speaker and audience.