Posts tagged cloud computing
Since about 2009, I’ve been on a fairly constant quest to prioritize one area I’m truly passionate about and makes me employable so I can center my online personal brand around it. After all, people tend to be most effective at developing an online reputation as being qualified if they talk about one thing all the time. My struggle with this is I have so many seemingly unrelated curiosities, which I develop more and more of the longer I work in public relations:
- public relations
- social media (which I maintain public relations professionals should know as much about as media relations)
- communications measurement
- business-to-business communications
- how to manage companies and teams
- cloud and mobile computing (which are connected)
- increasingly, LGBT rights
- various pop culture, usually involving LGBT celebrities
So what do all of these have in common? When people ask me why I like Beijing so much, the answer is very obvious to me: “I like Beijing because it feels like you are in the middle of something very important that is changing very quickly.” I realized that I could say the same about any of the other topics listed above. All my professional interests are:
- changing quickly
- misunderstood or under-appreciated
“Important” is a subjective term. In this context, I mean something that currently affects large numbers of people, creates a lot of financial opportunity, will become part of history textbooks decades in the future, or some combination of those factors.
In terms of the under-appreciated or misunderstood aspect, this could be why I took American Sign Language as my high school language and why I’m drawn to an industry with such a bad reputation among the general public as public relations. The main reason I was interested in traveling to China as a child, before I ever anticipated I would work there for two years, is that China is the world’s most populous country and has an amazing history, but in school we learned mostly about the U.S. and Western Europe. There is a lot of ignorance within the U.S. about what China is really like and vice versa, likely as a result of China and the U.S. not having even basic diplomatic relations until President Nixon visited Beijing in 1976.
So, there you have it. I will blog and tweet and do whatever else online (on websites I use for professional interests) about things that are important, changing quickly, and misunderstood or under-appreciated. I think for the sake of simplicity now, though, I’ll call the topics China, public relations, and a little bit of high tech. :)
4 Speakers’ PR Best Practices from Global Mobile and Cloud Conference [imported from Seattle Guanxi]
Earlier this month, I attended the first ever Global Mobile and Cloud Conference, co-organized by the Chinese Microsoft Employee Network and the North America China Council. I went mostly for my own industry education and the China focus. However, because my coworkers and I manage speaking opportunities for technology clients, and I knew Veronica and I would be starting this blog soon, I made sure to look out for speaking best and worst practices from a public relations standpoint.
Here are my four favorite speakers, what they did right, and what my least favorites did wrong, in my opinion:
Albert Shum, Windows Phone Design Studio General Manager, Microsoft
I was expecting to hate the presentation on Windows Phone, but instead, Albert’s presentation was one of my favorites of the day. As highlights, he:
- Acknowledged his product’s competition – iOS – had a much larger market share, then focused on Windows Phone’s future.
- Used story elements, such as creating a character. He shared market research with us on the character Windows Phone has decided will be its best target customer, a young man named “Wei.”
- Provided exclusive, specific information that was interesting to the whole audience. I found the market information on young, somewhat affluent, urban Chinese – pretty similar to my friends in China – fascinating and informative.
- Didn’t waste time or people’s attention by talking about common knowledge information. In this case, he began his presentation by acknowledging that everyone’s trying to figure out how to sell products to Chinese consumers.
Gang He, CEO at Grand Cloud
Halfway through Gang He’s presentation, I decided I should move to China and work for a cloud computing company. Then I realized this decision was merely a result of his persuasion at work. As highlights, he:
- Positioned himself as an expert on the conference topics through sharing specific, useful knowledge. At the end of his presentation, the moderator called his presentation amazing and summarized that he probably told us everything we could possibly want to know about cloud computing in China.
- Painted a picture of his industry and country as having exploding business opportunities, but ones that you should partner with locals for. He explained several factors that are contributing to massive business opportunities for cloud computing in China, as well as the challenges companies face in the same industry.
- Plugged his company’s product, but made sure to share impressive proof points while doing so. 8,000 customers bought Grand Cloud in the first two months of its availability.
Weiling Li, Vice President, iSoftStone
I’ve attended several panel discussions at a variety of events, and I’ve decided that they are inherently difficult for everyone involved: audience, moderator and speakers. Weiling Li showed the key to a successful panel is the moderator taking control. He:
- Announced a format for Q&A at the beginning of the session, letting everyone know that first he would ask questions, then he’d open it up to questions from attendees.
- Addressed questions to specific panelists to prevent some from speaking way more than others.
- Was available to answer questions if prompted, but focused on the panelists’ knowledge instead of his own.
George Zhu, Senior Program Manager, HTC
George was the most impressive panelist I saw of the day. He:
- Began with his employer’s elevator pitch, including how it was relevant and qualified for the conference topic, when prompted to introduce himself.
- Closed with a call to action to apply to work for his employer, when prompted for closing remarks.
I’m not going to name my least favorite speakers of the day; instead, I’ll outline worst practices. Don’t:
- Make the presentation only useful to those who use a certain product, unless the event is some sort of users’ conference such as WordCamp or Dreamforce.
- Show off your own personal abilities.
- Attack another company repeatedly throughout your presentation.
- Related to the above, don’t come off as competitive for the sake of it. People with this quality often do well in business, but it can come off the wrong way during presentations.
What technology speaking best practices do you recommend? Did you go to the Global Mobile and Cloud Conference? What did you think?Images taken without permission from Global Mobile and Cloud Conference.