I got a feeling

I got a feeling…. no I am not talking about the Black Eyed Peas song but how I felt a few days ago at a recent workshop.It was a social media workshop for OCRI’s e2 plus. There were about 14 in the room. As with all workshops most of the people were at different levels and it’s always a challenge to find middle ground and not bore the advanced people and not loose the beginners.

There were a good mix of people with a fair number leaning towards advanced. I started the session off with something new, social media introductions. This idea came from the most common problem that my clients have when it comes to social media.  So I digress to tell you more.

Most clients want to participate in social media as they vaguely realize it’s value especially reaching the younger demographic. Often there is this perception that it’s something instantaneous and magical. The reality is that it could be all that however the key word is that it’s “social”. So if the only medium used is text then it’s very boring. To make it interesting and social photos and videos need to be incorporated into the mix.

Well easier said than done. In the past these photos and videos were taken by professionals and were for organizations with large budgets. However with the evolution of mobile and online technologies the door is now open for user generated photos and videos. Thus taking the message you need to communicate with your audience from a medium of text to photos and videos. The problem is that as individuals, who in turn make up organizations, are not used to doing this from a professional capacity. We have no problems taking photos/videos in our social life, however when it comes to business this is not generally in our thought process.

So my goal was to challenge the group from just sitting and saying who they were to actively generating photos/videos while introducing themselves.Hence the name social media introductions.

Well no sooner had I explained myself I got the P word…. privacy…..

I get this from ALL my clients, it’s this mythical or should I say false sense that our lives are private. That’s a whole other blog post. I did explain that it was part of the workshop and we would discuss it. Long story short we go on with the exercise.

I took both a video and digital camera and asked the participants to exchange these items while the person sitting next to them introduce themselves. I delliberatly did not give them too much instructions as I wanted them to go with the flow. At first people were very conscious of the cameras however as they made their way round the room people relaxed and began to have fun. The started to pay attention to what they were saying, what the lighting conditions were, camera angles etc….

In other words although they were not happy with what I suggested in the begining they participated and had fun. The feedback I got afterwards indicated this. I did ask if I could edit the video and put both the photos and videos online and I got no objections!!!

So back to what made it so awesome? For me it was the workshop participants, they asked questions regardless of what level they were at and also shared their social media experiments. Both beginner to advanced they participated actively not just one or two but a fair number of them.

So everyone participated and that’s what made it fun. So thanks to everyone who attended and thanks for participating and making the session interesting for everyone.

Vote for me

It’s been ages since we have had a demo camp here in Ottawa and there’s one happening on Monday 19th Oct.

To spice things up the organizers asked for people to volunteer to be MC and if there was more than one candidate to place a vote.

It turns out that 6 of us feel up for the task, I being one of them.

The voting has started and I am asking for your vote.

Why should you vote for me?

Well I am a huge fan of Demo Camp and for the past few years I have attended most of them. I thought that this time around I would be on the other side of the fence so to speak and help out by being the MC.

So what qualifies me for this position?

I have been a guest speaker since university talking about various topics that I am passionate about. I love to inspire people into trying new things. I have never had the opportunity to be MC and looking forward to it.

So do VOTE for me. Thanks.

Getting back to basics

Last night the much anticipated snow finally arrived.? The great big fluffy flakes came down with big gusts of wind.

I was just settling down to my session on the comuter.? The usual read blogs, Facebook, Youtube, Twitter or just catchup on what’s going on out there.

None of this happened as with the big wind came the power outage.? I thought nothing of it until I tried my computer, phone, dvd player ….

  • computer battery died
  • no internet connection
  • no phone
  • no movies on portable dvd player, battery died
  • no power at the gym
  • no power at the coffee shop
  • saving cell for emergencies

What was I supposed to do?? It’s was too early to go to bed?

This is when I realized that my life revolves around technology that all depends on power from the outlet or batteries.? A lot of my spare time is spent using such technologies.

This was the time to get back to basics

  • had a snowball fight
  • built a mini snowman
  • read a book by candle light

What would you do if you had no power?

Make your vowels big

I had attended a very interesting session by Barclay McMillan about “Your voice – your calling card”. At the age of 60 Barclay figured out what he wanted to do when he grew up. It was a series of health problems that embarked him on his journey and he now shares his insights with people. He provided advice on putting your best self forward through your most neglected but most important selling tool – your voice.
barclay voice.gif

When we were babies we were very good at communicating our needs verbally. As we grew up we developed words and various social filters that made us loose our voice so to speak. By adulthood our voice lost its ability of the soul.

He offers a course called Life Song – it’s part physical and part psychological.

Getting back the ability of the voice to connect with the pain and passion. Your natural voice is bigger, carries desires, pain, passion, hopes and dreams to greater effect.

Words are made up of vowels and clicks (syllables). When we speak we tend to close down on the vowels and move onto the next click instead of making the vowels jump. If we speak authentically the air comes in contact with our musculature and guts. Our authentic emotions are alive. It lives in our bodies. It colors our sound as it goes through our larynx.

Slowing down a little so that the vowels are full makes an immediate improvement in the authenticity of your speaking. You do not have to slow down. Speak more deliberately so that the vowels are longer and fuller.

“Make your vowels big – take your time and your voice will come alive.”

Read at Work

Read at Work is exactly what it says, you can read stories at work.? When you click on the link it opens up a windows interface that looks just like the one you have, if you have windows on your computer.? I wonder what it will look like if? you have a MAC?

It has directories that are categorized by the different types of stories.? Clicking on these will open a powerpoint presentation that has graphics and flow diagrams however they are not presentations but STORIES!!!
Check it out.

A bike can change a life

A couple of years ago I upgraded my bike for a new mountain bike. I was not sure what to do with the old one, as it was in very good condition and throwing it in the garbage did not seem like a good idea. I did make the effort to call around to see if anyone would accept a donation of a bike and not having much success the bike stayed in the garage collecting dust.
Then I found about Bicycles for Humanity, a grass-roots initiative whose aim is to empower disadvantaged communities in developing countries through the provision of sustainable transport.

A bicycle is one of the simplest and cheapest transport technologies available today. All it needs are a few simple tools or spare parts for repairs and maintenance. The roads in Africa are bumpy and dusty and people walk for miles each day to make a living or to get a sick person to a hospital. So a bicycle would make a huge difference to their quality of life.

One sunny morning I put my bike in the car and dropped it off, I drove off feeling good about myself. My old bicycle would now make a huge difference is someones life.


A container was shipped to Namabia along with other goodies.

If you have a hybrid or mountain bike sitting around at home drop it off on June 21st 2008. If you don’t have a bike and still want to help out, they do accept donations towards the cost of a container to ship these bikes. they also accept donations of soccer equipment.

1943 Guide to Hiring Women

I came across this and had to share it with you. It’s a 1943 guide to hiring women!!! It was written by L.H. Saunders and appeared in the July 1943 edition of Mass Transportation.

It’s funny and shocking at the same time but we have to remember that this was back in the day when men went to work and women stayed behind at home to raise children.? World War II changed this balance.? This was written for male supervisors of women in the work force during World War II.

Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees.” There’s no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The important things now are to select the most efficient women available and how to use them to the best advantage.

Here are eleven helpful tips on the subject from Western Properties:

  1. Pick young married women. They usually have more of a sense of responsibility than their unmarried sisters, they’re less likely to be flirtatious, they need the work or they wouldn’t be doing it, they still have the pep and interest to work hard and to deal with the public efficiently.
  2. When you have to use older women, try to get ones who have worked outside the home at some time in their lives. Older women who have never contacted the public have a hard time adapting themselves and are inclined to be cantankerous and fussy. It’s always well to impress upon older women the importance of friendliness and courtesy.
  3. General experience indicates that “husky” girls – those who are just a little on the heavy side – are more even tempered and efficient than their underweight sisters.
  4. Retain a physician to give each woman you hire a special physical examination – one covering female conditions. This step not only protects the property against the possibilities of lawsuit, but reveals whether the employee-to-be has any female weaknesses which would make her mentally or physically unfit for the job.
  5. Stress at the outset the importance of time. The fact that a minute or two lost here and there makes serious inroads on schedules. Until this point is gotten across, service is likely to be slowed up.
  6. Give the female employee a definite day-long schedule of duties so that they’ll keep busy without bothering the management for instructions every few minutes. Numerous properties say that women make excellent workers when they have their jobs cut out for them, but that they lack initiative in finding work themselves.
  7. Whenever possible, let the inside employee change from one job to another at some time during the day. Women are inclined to be less nervous and happier with change.
  8. Give every girl an adequate number of rest periods during the day. You have to make some allowances for feminine psychology. A girl has more confidence and is more efficient if she can keep her hair tidied, apply fresh lipstick and wash her hands several times a day.
  9. Be tactful when issuing instructions or in making criticisms. Women are often sensitive; they can’t shrug off harsh words the way men do. Never ridicule a woman – it breaks her spirit and cuts off her efficiency.
  10. Be reasonably considerate about using strong language around women. Even though a girl’s husband or father may swear vociferously, she’ll grow to dislike a place of business where she hears too much of this.
  11. Get enough size variety in operator’s uniforms so that each girl can have a proper fit. This point can’t be stressed too much in keeping women happy