Saturday, October 11, 2014

HOA's .......... And Then There is Content

Can we go old school for just a minute? 

Remember when the only training available was either live or on videotape?  Do you remember how you evaluated those events? 

Yes, you in the back waving your hand and doing an imitation of Arnold Horshack. 

That is correct. You decided the value of the event based on the content in the presentation. The people who succeeded were the people who got the most mileage out of their resources, held your attention,and made sure you walked away with something you could use  immediately. They followed up with you personally to make sure what you learned was working well for you.

Pretty soon the webinar crowd picked up the gauntlet and ran with it. Go To Meeting, Zoom, Cisco and Meeting Burner touted the value of doing the same thing folks like myself were doing live for a fraction of the cost and to a much broader audience.  The problem was and still is, they are a bit pricey. The coach, consultant or entrepreneur working in their basement or living room found themselves unable to compete. 

We besieged the gates of heaven. Our prayers were answered in the form of Google+. Now everyone, including grandma, grandpa and cousin Junior could be a video rock star, and it didn't cost a single, solitary dime. It is a creature called Hangout on Air or "HOA's." 

The smart and savvy entrepreneurs see it as a way to do business. If you have ever hosted a live event you know they can be expensive, time consuming and will flat out wear you out before they even begin. The Google+ option gives you the opportunity to reach an infinite audience.

There are many knowledgeable people and Google+ communities who can teach you the mechanics of creating and hosting a HOA. I know, they taught me!  (See User2User and Ground Zero To Hangout Hero Communities.) Lisa Engles is hosting a 4 part series that will teach you how to create and manage your HOA. 

And then there is content. 

For what it's worth I am going to share some training and development wisdom that will make you the rock star you have always dreamed of being.  

Have an agenda. 
The folks who've invite me to participate in their hangouts email me an agenda and some initial questions or discussion topics a day or so prior to the event. There is nothing worse than having a guest gets that deer in the head light look and hemming and hawing. The agenda keeps you on target as it relates to your time frame. Review the agenda in the green room prior to your hangout and make sure you and your guests are on the same page. Three of the very best at this are James Fierce, Meilani McDonald and Jessica Dewell. Check them out! 

Start and end on time. 
There is nothing more frustrating to a viewer than waiting 5 or 10 minutes for a hang out to begin. Get in the green room early,  get set up and be ready to go at the scheduled time. 

Each Google+ account should come with a am email that says "Don't try this at home." Before you host your first hangout get some help from the people or communities I detailed above. How do I know this? My fist few hangouts were disasters because I plunged into the deep and dark waters of hangouts without any guidance. I mean how hard can this be, right? (Very hard if you dont know what you're doing.)

Having guests? Make sure they know when to be there and make contact 1 hour prior to launch to make sure they know what's what!!! Get their phone number and  if they appear to be MIA give them a shout. Life has a way of getting in the way of things. People get stuck in traffic etc, etc. 

Keep your personal introduction less than a minute. 
I know, you are proud of yourself and your work and you want to share it with the entire universe and yes, I know, it's all about creating relationships but ask yourself a question
"Why is my audience here? Are they here to learn something or are they here to know more about me?"

Recently I attended a hangout where the host spent 18 minutes of their scheduled hour talking about themselves and then apologized at the end of the hangout for not covering all of the content they'd promised to cover. 

If you want to give personal information about yourself add  it in the Details section of the event page or provide a bio link for your viewers. You can create a trailer video your viewers can watch ahead of time if they are interested in learning more about you. 

Don't read whats on the screen if you're sharing a presentation. 
Ellen Finklestein is recognized as an authority on Power Point presentations. I'd like to share a few things she taught me about using Power Point or any slide presentation. 

  1. People can't read and listen at the same time. 
  2. Words aren't as profound as pictures. Most people learn visually. 
  3. Short term memory is limited.  Share a single thought on a slide. 
Your presentation should contain a maximum of 10 slides. If you have many more you should consider doing a Part Two. 

These are a few of the things I share with presenters in a workshop on HOA Content Creation, Management and Presentation. I hope this will be of help to you.