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Introducing the Social Speech Podcast

Social Speech Podcast (revised)

If you're involved in public speaking – as someone who delivers speeches and presentations, or as an executive communications practitioner, or as an event organizer – then this is for you.

Over the next several weeks, I'm going to share conversations I'm having with some of the smartest people I know about public speaking and social media: how connected audiences are transforming the world of presentations, and how some forward-thinking speakers are making the most of it.

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A social media Valentine

Dearest Valentine,

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Alex on why you should stop apologizing for your online life

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking what we do online isn't real, and doesn't matter. And it doesn't help that we've developed the acronym IRL, In Real Life, to refer to the offline world. 

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Just because you have numbers doesn't mean you have insight

One of the most seductive things about social media is the way it allows us to quantify things. I have more friends than she does – I must be more popular. That blog post got more hits than this one, so that one's more effective. We have more Twitter followers this month than last month, so we're on the right track.

Numbers are lovely that way. In a world where everything seems open to interpretation, numbers offer certainty. Five is bigger than three: end of argument.

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15 best practices for managing your first (or subsequent) web development project

Back in the day, the only real way to have an online conversation was to build your own blog or online community. These days, many people, companies and organizations have their first taste of online conversation and social media through pre-established social networks like Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

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The social speech starts long before you take the stage

Engage your audience before your speech

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A lot of speeches begin with someone introducing you to the audience - reciting your background and qualifications, and then encouraging them to greet you warmly as you head to the microphone.

And once the applause dies down, you're looking at a sea of people who are probably as unfamiliar to you as you are to them. Your first few lines not only have to launch your speech, but establish a rapport and some degree of trust with your audience.

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The social speech: How your friends and followers can help you write your next presentation

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Speechwriting is a notoriously solitary profession. You might have a few conversations with a client, their staff or — if you're writing for yourself — a mirror. But a lot of your work is going to be just you, a keyboard and the unforgiving blank screen.

At least, that used to be the case. But when you're crafting a social speech, speechwriting can be a team activity. And even though you still have to do the actual writing, you can draw on the ideas, experience and ingenuity of a large networked audience.

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Is online activism effective? 5 ways to ask (and answer) the question

Can social media catalyze or support political change? To answer that question, you have to understand who is asking, and what they really want to know.

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In defense of white space (and choices)

Gmail's new design offers plenty of white space... and a good example

Big white square

Gmail has had a very interesting redesign. (I love the big fat red "Compose" button. Doesn't work on me, though; I press it, and I'm just as anxious as ever.) You can read about some of the details on the Gmail blog, including an account of the choices they made around designing the left sidebar.

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The social speech

Using social media to turn your next speech into an ongoing conversation

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For all the effort that goes into a speech - especially a big one - they're over surprisingly quickly. You reach a few dozen, a few hundred or (if you have a huge crowd) a few thousand people for a brief while, and then you walk off the stage, and the audience walks out the door.

For a few minutes, you've made a significant connection with those people. But all the potential relationships and conversations that could arise from that connection walk out the door with them.

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Work Smarter with Evernote

Get more out of Evernote with Alexandra Samuel's great new ebook, the first in the Harvard Business Press Work Smarter with Social Media series!

Available on Amazon, iTunes and HBR.

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