Training up North! Digital Marketing and Presentation Skills workshops coming up

I just came back from running some training in London, where I've previously done a lot of this type of work - but in 2016 that's less the case, I've been all over the place. Even the work I'm doing for the British Library is at their Boston Spa site, and it's been nice to do things not JUST in the South.

With that in mind, there's three training courses I'm running in September and October which are much more local to me up North than usual, and open to all. I ran my very first full-day workshops in York back in 2012, and a lot of people have asked when they'll be run there again - details are below.

Sept 4: Digital Marketing toolkit workshop, york

We're runnng this one at the University of York, in a training room in the Library chosen because it has decent sized screens and good facilities. This is the 'emerging tech' workshop which focuses on aspects of Web 2.0 beyond the social media basics. It changes every time but we'll definitely be covering geolocation and augmented reality, marketing with video, Publishing Online (embedding PDFs, sources of creative commons and free images for comms, interactive tools like Padlet), Mobile and Apps, and probably some social media analytics too.

Full details including booking form are available on the UKeIG website.

The workshop is grounded in the here and now - things you can do as soon as you can get back to your desk, rather than speculation as to what digital comms will look like in 2020 - so people find this course very useful. Here's some feedback from the last 2 versions of this specific course I've run for UKeIG:

“Very up to date - thanks - very useful, practical and relevant course - I’m brimming with ideas”

”I really enjyed the day, opened my eyes to lots of new tools and made me realise that digital marketing doesn’t have to be Facebook”

”Just the right amount of interaction. Very engaging. I learned so much!”

”“This has been a fantastic course - I have learnt so much and gained more confidence around a number of digital marketing tools and how to use them effectively. Ned’s knowledge and brilliant presentation style is great and kept me hooked for the whole day. Everything has been amazing”

”A fantastic training session - incredibly useful - thank you”

”Absolutely brilliant. Interesting, relevant, useful.”

”Far beyond my expectations. Unlike most other courses, it held my attention to the end.”

”This was excellent overall - lots of useful things for me to take back - thank you Ned!”
— UKeIG Digital Marketing Toolkit workshops, 2014 + 2015

Sept 11: Presentation skills workshop, York

As above this one takes place in my place of work, this time covering presentation skills. It's entitled 'Making your message stick' because that's the theme for the whole day - we're all presenting a lot these days, so the very least you want is for your key messages to stay in people's minds after they leave your talk. 

Full details including booking form are available on the UKeIG website - this course focuses on what researchers have found to be key in building effective multimedia presentations, and working from that. It's very hands-on and you'll be creating beautiful slides (whose aesthetically pleasingness will be a byproduct of them being good communication tools, rather than the sole aim...) and experimenting with Prezi. We'll look at the absolute golden rules of creating presentations, explore 4 different methods of creating them based on how much time you have and how high the stakes are, and also discuss presenting itself, conquering nerves and so on.

Oct 16: Presentation skills workshop, Manchester

As above this is the full-day Making Your Message Stick workshop, this time for CILIPNW. It'll take place at Manchester, probably at Manchester Metropolitan University, but that final details are still being sorted out. I'll try and remember to update this page once it's all sorted!

Some feedback from the two most recent Presentation Skills workshops I've run, for CILIP NE and the Bodleian:

“Tips and tricks about perfect presentations - it was fantastic! Very informative, very attractive content of the course. I’d recommend it to anyone.”

”The trainer’s knowledge and approach to the presentation were outstanding. We received numerous references for further learning and finding resources, which is greatly appreciated.”

”It was excellent. It is a particularly difficult topic to present on, as the audience is looking to see excellent presentation skills in action. The trainer succeeded in demonstrating presentation skills as well as talking about them.”

”It was just perfect.”

”Ned is very engaging and was able to get across his enthusiasm and expereince of presenting at a high standard.”

”The trainer gave lots of useful tips and could draw on own experience in libraries to illustrate points; there as a good balence between written and spoken input and time to practice new ideas.”

”The course was really fantastic, I came away with lots of practical ideas and feeling enthusiastic about sharing them with my team.”

”The best training I have ever been on.”

“I found the day very useful - a very practical session with time for hands-on practice and a lot of good advice given. I have heard a lot of about Ned’s presentation expertise. He was great!”

”Really useful and informative. Good to have practical sessions as well as demos.”

”Ned was fantastic, and there was a great balance of practical exercises, and presentation of examples and tips.”
— Bodleian Libraries 2015, and CILIP NE 2015

You can see all of the upcoming workshops on my Upcoming Events page. Hope to see you at one of them!


Visitors and Residents: Useful Social Media in Libraries

 

V&R

Visitors and Residents (or V&R) is a really useful way of thinking about how people interact online and use social media. In short, people in Visitor mode come online to complete a particular task, and then leave - with very little trace of their activity remaining. People in Residents mode are more likely to identify as themselves and use the web as a social space, sharing as well as obtaining information. Visitors and Residents is a continuum which all of us are on, moving between the two according to our needs at any given time. It was first proposed by Le Cornu and White, and (David) White has a very useful section of his site to introduce the topic in more detail.

As libraries, it's really useful to think about how we go about catering for users in both modes. Social media isn't all about social networks - we can use social media platforms to provide easy entry points for Visitors seeking information (a lot of the platforms I've set up at York should provide utility even for students and staff who don't use social media at all), AND we can use it to add our voice to a more Residential space and provide help and information as part of a community. Led very much by Donna Lanclos's views on the subject, I now see V&R as a far more constructive lens through which to view peoples' online behaviour than the 'Digital Natives' idea, which is extremely prevalent and asks us to make assumptions about our users based on their date of birth.

I was invited to give a keynote at the Interlend conference, and asked specifically to talk about social media. As I've mentioned before I think a keynote is a very specific thing, and has different requirements to a regular conference presentation where I could, for example, just report back on what my institution is doing to engage users online. A keynote needs an overarching theme which gives people a way of looking at the world, as well as specific ideas and things for people to try out. With this in mind, my #Interlend2015 talk was entitled Visitors and Residents: Useful Social Media in Libraries.

The Presentation

The actual slides I used will be available on the FiL website shortly, but they won't make that much sense without me talking over the top of them so I've redone them to stand alone online. Here they are. (I get really excited about slide design. It's the one part of me that is remotely visually artistic, and I loved using a slightly different style for this slide-deck and learning new tricks. I found new sources of images - listed on the final slides - and a couple of new fonts, used a lot of darkening and blurring of images so I could write directly onto them, and generally tried REALLY hard with these!)

Screw Digital Natives

Inspired by Donna I've become quite militant about the whole digital natives thing.

It can't be left unchallenged - when people use it uncritically we have to pull them up on it! It's dangerously reductive. There's two major problems with it: firstly anyone who's thought about it for more than a second would agree that age doesn't actually determine technological know-how. How exposed we are to modern tools and computers depends on place of birth, environment growing up, privilege, and other socio-economic factors - we know that. So to assume that students entering University now have a set of skills that they just have (how do you Snapchat? You just Snapchat. Hello to Jason) is to ignore the messier reality in front of you in favour of a very simplistic alternative - an imagined present, as Donna eloquently puts it. So we don't assess the students in front of our very eyes on what they can and can't do, we just plough on and risk a dereliction of our educational duty. And secondly, even those that ARE excellent with the tools don't neccessarily know how to use them in the academic environment (or indeed for life-skills type purposes). Technological literacy does not imply digital literacy! Being deft with a touch-screen and quick to find information is a great first step, but then comes all the (again, messy) business of critically evaluating that information, and potentially re-purposing it.

My 1 year old can - genuinely - do things with our iPad which we can't recreate, to do with swiping in a certain way. She's born into the technology. She's what the people who talk about Digital Natives are imagining ALL children are like. But that doesn't mean she can use the tech to achieve goals and complete tasks and understand how information works. Of course it doesn't.

On talking then leaving

I strongly dislike when people give talks at conferences and then leave straight after. It implies arrogance - it says I am here to give out knowledge, but there's nothing you guys can teach ME.

With the Interlend Conference, the timing was awful - it was in a run of the most stressful and stupidly busy 7 days I've ever had professionally. I really wanted to do the talk though - I was supposed to do it last year but had to pull out because of my daughter's illness, and it was an honour to be asked to do a keynote. The only way I could do it was if I went back to work in the afternoon, due to a massive deadline looming - so essentially I did what I hate people doing: I showed up, gave the talk, and left.

I wanted to stay - especially after the really interesting conversations I had with people over coffee after my talk - but I had to choose between talking and running, or not talking at all. I chose to talk and run, but next time I would make a different choice and not do the talk at all unless I'm able to attend the full day on which I'm speaking. I just felt awful - sad to miss out on stuff I would have found really interesting and useful, and my insecurities running wild about what people must think (fired further by a few tweets which confirmed my worst fears).

So huge apologies to the delegates - I wish I could have stayed and carried on the conversations.

CPD as a way to get some learning done

One of things I like most about CPD is choosing paths which force me to invest proper time in understanding something relatively new. Over the years I've often submitted a title of a talk knowing that it would involve some serious work  and research to actually be able to deliver the finished article... What normally happens is I do this and feel excited about it, then about 2 days before the talk is due to be given I curse my past self in great and sweary detail because I'm still learning about a topic rather than planning how to create a presentation on it, and then afterwards I'm really glad I forced myself to do this because I learned something valuable and lasting. That's basically exactly what happened here.

When I was planning this talk and knew it had to be about social media, I was really drawing a blank in terms of an angle for it - I didn't want to just repeat the same old same old. If I read one more conference tweet that says 'social media is a great way to connect with our users!' I will probably despair.

So I asked Twitter what I should call the talk, and got loads of good suggestions, before ultimately realising that this would be the perfect opportunity to go from 'being interested in that #vandr thing I've read a lot about from Donna Lanclos' all the way to 'knowing enough about #vandr to actually talk about it at a conference' so I settled on that, and am really glad I did. (Although it was, as predicted, massively stressful.)

But I wanted to give an honourable mention to the best twitter suggestion in response to my plea for ideas for possible titles for my talk:

I wish I could have used it...

Lights, camera, Action Plans!

 

In academic libraries we're all seeking ways to deepen our relationships with the Departments we look after, and at York we've found a really valuable tool for doing this. Each year we come up with an Action Plan for each Department, and we discuss and modify this at a meeting with each Head of Department and Library Rep. Then over the following year we carry out the actions we agreed. It doesn't sound like that revelatory an idea, but the point is it's a genuine and meaningful piece of progress we've made - we get a lot done via this method.

For this year's Action Plans we made a change to the format and turned them into more of an annual report. The slides above are an adapted version of a presentation I gave at #BLA15, the Business Librarians Association Conference in Liverpool last month. It's only a brief overview, but it covers a process we've found really valuable, and which the academic Departments have found useful too.

The conference itself was great! As ever. I could only go to the first day but I enjoyed all the presentations I saw, and Jess has put together a really nice write-up of all the presentations which you can read on her blog here.

I particularly got a lot out of Emma Thompson's talk, which is worth checking out on Slideshare. Her idea about providing the library as a 'business' for PGT students doing their Market Research module to do actual market research about, is one I'm really interested in trying out here. The students get real experience and the library gets useful feedback - brilliant.

 

Off-topic: A charity gig in York this Friday

Info pros of the North! I would love it if you could come to a gig this Friday, 10th of July, in York.

This is, of course, way off-topic, and normally I wouldn't be using this blog to ask people to come and see me drum. But this is a special gig we've put on to raise money for the Eye Department at Birmginham Children's Hospital - they look after Grace, my 1-year-old, who has a rare form of eye cancer. (In fact, we'll be in Birmingham on the day of the gig itself for her to have laser treatment as her main tumour has become active again, which isn't exactly ideal timing.)

So, if you're near to York and free on Friday, the gig will be in the City Screen Basement Bar which is very nice, especially compared to most venues I gig in, and the doors are at 8pm. I play in a band called Lightbulb Moment and we do rock covers from across five-and-a-bit decades - so there will be some Foo Fighters, some Beatles, some Kings of Leon, a Jack White tune, a bit of Kinks. Songs we like, basically.

It's also our singer Graham's final gig before he moves away, so it'll be emotional! We'll be on stage at around 9:45 I'd imagine - there'll be a support band on before us, too.

Tickets cost £10, and I'd recommend heading to the City Screen’s site to book yours in advance as we've already sold quite a few and the Basement Bar isn't massive. Every single penny of the ticket price will be going to the hospital, so potentially we could raise several hundred pounds, which would be amazing. There'll be a lot of librarians coming already (from my work) so, you know, you'll be in good company...

Here's the poster. Would be great to see you there!


REVY Article on saying 'no'

I like REVY, a very stylishly put together magazine / journal for info pros. They asked me to rework my just say no blogpost (which had some really interesting comments) from a while back into an article, which I was very happy to do! You can see the issue embedded below - mine is the first article - or find it on issuu.com here.