After an hour long walk this morning (yay! I made time for my walk!), shower and brekkie I jumped onto a train and travelled into town to work out at the NAB Village (a co-working space) before my first client site meeting. I was excited to be presenting a webinar on the Benefits of Social Networking.
— Helen Blunden (@ActivateLearn) November 17, 2014
The presentation focussed on how to “work like a network” and my so-called “Six Magical Behaviours of Social Networking” which are: (not really magical, but hey, they may as well be for how simple they are to build a network!)
My focus on this webinar is to not only demonstrate how to use the social networking platform in question (in this case, Yammer) but WHY these behaviours (regardless of the platform you use) will build and create your networks, influence and online reputation.
We had prepared for this webinar well ahead in advance as a collaborative effort with the client. We were both excited to deliver it and get people connecting online so that when they finally meet in person at their National Conference on Friday, the connection would already have been made and it would create an exciting buzz around the event. However, there were some technical glitches that were unplanned and marred the webinar experience. Although I did get through the main points of social networking, there were some bandwidth issues especially when screen sharing the Yammer demonstration.
Even though we rehearsed this twice (once with the vendor and the other with the client and selected people across Australia), you can never plan for every contingency. Sometimes these things happen. On the plus side, we remained positive and upbeat online to our audience and we backed it up with an email to participants afterwards explaining what we will do to rectify this so that it doesn’t happen again. In my experience, people are understanding and forgiving of technical issues but it’s the people who plan, organise and co-ordinate are much harder on themselves. After all no one likes to see their hard work impacted.
After the webinar, I sat with the client and we devised an alternative action plan of some key activities that can be incorporated into the National Conference so that Yammer can be used as the tool to capture learning, reflections and notes from the participants and try to turn the negative back into a positive.
Some of the suggestions were to recreate webcasts of the presentation split into smaller “bite size” modules – so rather than a 1 hour virtual classroom, deliver it as a series of short webcasts that they can view in their own time interspersed with some key social learning activities that could occur before, during and after the National event.
Some examples I provided were:
- Ask participants to take photos at the conference (eg. if there is any group work, encourage each team to take a photo and tag it into the relevant Yammer group)
- Meet your interstate team colleague (whom you have never met) face to face, take a photo, tag the photo, share a mutual point of interest
- Create a File Note to blog and encourage each table (depends on how each set up) to contribute to blogging in real time together (eg 0900-1030: Tables 1 and Tables 2 will co-blog on the File Note; 1100-1230 Tables 3 and 4 etc. This way there is less onus on one voice capturing the notes and reflections of the day
- Upload all presentations from presenters to make them available to the group and have a Yam Jam on the key messages post event
- Any good photos and stories of the day to be communicated into the ALL stream OUTSIDE the Yammer group so that people across the company can contribute or ask questions – good way to promote people and the conference this way.
So in a way, what we are trying to do is to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and carry on with the task at hand. So we had technical glitches. That’s life! Let’s learn from it, put it behind us and turn to Plan B.
Later this afternoon I had a lovely meetup with Laura Overton (@lauraoverton) from Toward Maturity. We talked all things learning, data and performance. She is in Melbourne from the UK and will be running a workshop on “Modernising Learning: A Masterclass in Future Proofing Your Learning Strategy” hosted by ElNet tomorrow that I’ll be attending.
Okay, it’s 8:55 pm and I’m seriously knackered. Time for bed. I can’t think straight…