Are we overvaluing real-time feedback?

Warning: Lost post follows

imageBack in 1995, “Snow Crash” author Neal Stephenson teamed up with his uncle George Jewsbury under the pseudonym Stephen Bury to produce a potboiler titled “Interface.” The premise: A presidential candidate suffers a stroke and has a chip implanted in his brain. The chip features a wireless connection to feedback from thousands of watch-like devices distributed to a representative sample of Americans. These devices gauge the wearer’s reaction to political speeches, allowing the candidate to make mid-course adjustments and bolster public reaction to his candidacy.

To me, this bit of speculative fiction defines… Read More »

Time got away from me

This incident that happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. But it does explain something about Vegas I have long suspected.

I conducted a half-day workshop this morning for the Las Vegas chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The day kicked off when my host, Andy North of St. Rose Dominican Hospitals and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, picked me up at The Orleans Hotel and Casino as scheduled at 7 a.m. I noted, by glancing at my watch, that he was right on time. I checked my watch again when he introduced me to the 60 or so attendees promptly at 8, when the session was scheduled to begin.

My watch told me it was just… Read More »

PR Open Mic connects students, faculty, and practitioners

Shel HoltzRobert French, the social media-promoting PR professor at Auburn University, has launched a Ning-based social network for PR students and faculty called PR Open Mic. He’s also thrown the door open to practitioners in hopes that a dialogue will emerge that ultimately improves PR curricula and benefits students.

As of this morning, the group boasts 382 members (including me). And, unlike some Ning networks that almost instantly enter stagnation mode, PR Open Mic is off to a vibrant start.

Phil Gomes, the Edelman Digital stalwart, has started a group called “Ask Phil.” And rather than just answer questions, he produces videos. In fact,… Read More »

A nifty one-page handout

A couple weeks ago, I wrote that I was reconsidering my position on handouts for my talks and presentations. Among those who read the post was Lisa Junker who works for ASAE and the Center, a joint venture of the American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership. She emailed me and attached a PDF file of a template for a one-page handout. She wrote:

In our magazine, Associations Now, we recently published a short article that demonstrates one way to create single-sheet handouts that really pop and provide a lot of information in a small amount of space…the author, Jeffrey Cufaude, has a blog as well:…

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Revisiting paper handouts

After today, I may have to rethink my position on handouts.

For years, I have resisted providing handouts of my presentations. The reasons:

  • Delivering handouts weeks before the speaking engagement precludes making changes to the presentation, even if events or better examples make such a change a good idea.
  • We’re supposed to be going green, right? I have a file cabinet full of presentation handouts from conferences. I’ve never looked at any of them. How many trees would have been spared if those handouts simply had never been printed?
  • Somebody (I think it was Wilma Matthews) told me about research that proves people retain less from… Read More »

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