I am very passionate about the message of the talk I gave at #140conf–that what separates Twitter from other social media, and how it presents a transformative opportunity is Twitter’s ability to create, connect and listen in the context of community.
However, I have been thinking a lot about the talk because, to be honest, I was not satisfied with myself and my presentation of that message. I didn’t feel like I moved my audience much or made an impact. To me, the delivery felt flat.
At first, I thought it was the format: a stage, with stationary microphone and podium. I could not move casually and was uncomfortable. But, the more I thought about it, I realized that wasn’t the issue.
At the same time, I’ve been reflecting on Seth Godin’s view on presentations:
The purpose of a presentation is to change minds. That’s the only reason I can think of to spend the time and resources. If your goal isn’t to change minds, perhaps you should consider a different approach.
and, but so I don’t feel like that was it either.
What I’ve concluded is an addendum to Seth’s view:
The key to changing the mind of an audience is to illustrate to them how doing so will make them better at what they do.
and, in my view, that’s where I fell flat. In other words, I feel like I was effective at making my point about the nature of Twitter, but I didn’t back that up by showing the audience why adopting that point of view was in their best interest.
Effectively, this is the point that Kathy Sierra makes all the time about going beyond creating an awesome user experience to creating awesome users. In fact, as I was reviewing Kathy’s tweets for this post, I see that she’s made this point exactly:
It’s not enough just to make the experience good (i.e. to make the valid point), but to be truly effective you need to make the user better for the expeirence as well (i.e. better for adopting the point).