Join me on June 21st from 1-2 PM PST for the virtual launch of The Networked Nonprofit.
Last week, I was in NYC to deliver a keynote with Allison Fine about our book, The Networked Nonprofit. I stayed the weekend to travel to Toronto, to give a keynote on Monday morning at the My Charity Connects Conference. My slides are above and my reflections are below.
An Impressive Week-Long Learning and Networking Event for Nonprofits
NetChange Week is an impressive event that explores the intersection between social technology and social change started a year ago. It takes place at The MaRS Discovery Centre in downtown Toronto (a hub for science, technology and social entrepreneurs) and there are fourteen events, each with a unique focus and target audience. The week is built in partnership with over 35 collaborators.
The Conversational Keynote: Room Configuration Is Key
I’m working on perfecting the conversational keynote. A big consideration is the configuration of the physical space. The space where I gave my keynote in Toronto is well designed designed for conversational keynote format. Seating was in round table eight, approximately 300 people. The stage is was a simple riser no more than 8 inches off the ground with multiple screens. There was also a dream team of audio visual techs. They outfitted me with wireless lavaliere mic. We also had wireless hand mics in the audience. This made it easy for me to get off the stage and wander into the audience to engage them in conversation.
Right before I gave my keynote, My Charity Connects shared this video about why it is important for nonprofits to embrace online fundraising (and social media). I thought it was particularly well done. Then Own Charters the Executive Director of CanadaHelps introduced me.
Using Twitter To Research The Audience Before, During, and After
The audience was a mix of large institutions with small nonprofits, staff or volunteers who had hands-on responsibility for social media and board members and senior leadership. So, I divided my talk into two broad themes: high level strategy and one the ground the practice. For the high level strategy, I shared a few themes from book, The Networked Nonprofit and invited everyone to the virtual launch on June 21st at 4-5 PM EST/1-2 PM PDT. The conference had fast and reliable wifi and many had their laptops opened and were tweeting before the conference started – so I encouraged using Twitter as a back channel.
The conversational starter was “How much of a networked nonprofit is your organization?” Several people raised stood up and said they worked for Networked Nonprofits. These were all organizations that worked with younger people and youth activism or those just about to launch a new nonprofit.
While I did try as hard as possible to incorporate Canadian examples, I still had US examples. I was worried about this and would have liked to had a pre-session chat with this participant:
The second half of the talk was on practice. Since Networked Nonprofits are experts using social media, what does this look like in practice. With the help of David Hood, we googled all the participants and checked out their web presence and social outposts. When I tell people that they might see themselves in the slide show, there is always nervous giggle. But I assure they will only be called out in a positive way!
The conference hashtag became a top trending topic keyword on Twitter in Canada during the keynote! But, as a speaker to check the hashtag tweets, you get immediate feedback. It also facilitates conversation with people who are not in the room.
Here are a few main points of the second half of the presentation that resonated on the backchannel:
Connecting with Canadian Social Media Folks
I was in Toronto for most of the day before flying back and had an opportunity to attend several sessions. Darren Barefoot gave an amazing session on social media ROI, including a demo of Google Analytics Apps. (Darren wrote “Friends with Benefits” which is a gem of a book about social media strategy and tactics.) Kristin Beardsley gave a session about social media policy filled with practical tips. (Her slides are available on the My Charity Connects slideshare account)
I also need to thank Lisa Torjman, Allyson Hewitt, Geraldine Cahill, Own Charters, Jane Zhang, and Zenia Wadhwani, for all your hard work to make this a successful event. I enjoyed my brief time in Toronto and connecting with charities, free agents, and NGOs in Canada! I look forward to continuing the conversation.