One big upside of the #PCMA12 experiment with having different time frames for the different sessions is that I could go to one of the regular breakouts for an hour and then feel OK about skipping off to the Learning Lounge for some Really Live Chatting or getting some 15 minute chunks of great info at the Big Ideas Pavilion. I don't know why that feels like cutting class, since the learning I get there is at least as good as what I've been getting in the regular breakouts, but that's definitely the feeling it gives me. Well, I guess if it worked for me in high school, why not now?
Anyway, I went to one quick session led by tech guru Gina Schreck (@GinaSchreck), who also turns out to know a thing or 10 about how you can get your speakers from putting people to sleep. One big plus? She modeled what she was talking about, and it must work because no one was even close to nodding off. A few of her tips:
* Prep your speakers for connecting with their audience. Have them use Twitter to ask people what they want to learn, offer some tidbits.
* Give them the audience demographics so they can customize their talk.
* Have them create short (30-second to 1-minute) videos you can post to your Web site and use in promotions.
*Forbid them from using small, bad fonts (yes!). Another PowerPoint tip: "PowerPoint doesn't kill people. Bullets do."
* Have them break up their presentations into chunks (thank you, Dr. Medina) with video interviews, live or recorded Skype interviews, fun vids they pick up from YouTube, etc.
Check out her Web site for a wealth of tech tips, too. Definitely worth spending an hour or two there.