Lessons Learned from a LinkedIn Presentation

LinkedIn PresentationLast week I gave a presentation at the Scotch Plains Public Library about LinkedIn. I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned from giving this presentation.

But first, an advertisement for those in New Jersey: If you are in New Jersey, why not come to the next social media talk on May 7 at the Scotch Plains Public Library – this one will be on Facebook. I will surely talk about Timeline (do I hear some groans? any cheers?), and I plan to focus on the differences between groups and pages. People think Facebook is just for young people, but it can be used as a tool for business or for any interest or hobby you may have.

And now back lessons learned:

  1. If you are planning to use the internet in your presentation, make sure the place has a good internet connection (the Scotch Plains Public Library did). Some places have a slow connection, which could be awkward for your presentation.
  2. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Have your powerpoint slides all ready to go. I put mine on a flash drive, on my laptop, and on DropBox (thank you to Carolyn of Wonder of Tech for recommending DropBox). If you have the opportunity, rehearse at the setting of the presentation with one other person watching and listening.
  3. Make a slide of clickable links. I made the mistake of pasting in the links – when I wanted to show a YouTube video on the screen, I had to retype the link. Next time, I’ll be better prepared.
  4. If you are planning to show a YouTube video, test out the video in the presentation setting. The speakers on the laptop weren’t very loud, so playing the video didn’t work out so well. But I had included the link on a handout.
  5. Prepare handouts. People love takeaways – I always prepare a list of links (see section below) so people can learn more. Luckily, the YouTube video was listed on the handout, so I could tell folks to watch it at home.
  6. Don’t start the talk right away. Instead, use the first ten minutes to meet personally those who have shown up early. Most people love to talk about why they have come, if they are made to feel comfortable and welcome.
  7. If you don’t know the answer to a question, feel free to look it up on the internet in front of the audience. We can all learn together. For example, someone asked about the term “visibility” in LinkedIn. So we looked it up in LinkedIn Answers. The term “visibility” is similar to privacy settings in Facebook. So you can change the visibility for a group if the group is not a private group (that’s one example of visibility).
  8. Have Fun. For many of us, public presentations can be a bit nerve wracking (for others, you may never even try to do one because of being too nervous!). Connect to the audience, enjoy your topic, and let your enthusiasm for the topic show.

Thank you so much to the librarians at the Scotch Plains Public Library and especially to Pam Brooks.

LinkedIn Links for more Exploration

Here are the LinkedIn links from the presentation handout:

Slides from the Presentation

Your Turn, Please

Have you ever given a presentation? What advice would you give on presenting? Would you like to give presentations but feel a bit intimidated?

19 Responses to “Lessons Learned from a LinkedIn Presentation”

  1. LauraG says:

    Excellent explanation of LinkedIn. I find this the hardest social media platform to teach – not just what it is but how you can benefit from using it even if you aren’t currently looking for a job.

    Also great pointers for presentation prep. Demonstrating how to find the answer to a question is priceless. These people won’t have you to ask once they leave! Two suggestions: download the youtube video rather than streaming because you never know how slow a connection will be … and bring your own speakers :)

    • Leora Wenger says:

      “download the youtube video rather than streaming because you never know how slow a connection will be … and bring your own speakers”
      Laura, good idea!

      There is so much more to LinkedIn than just finding a job. I find it valuable for finding other professionals, for networking, for information about a specific field. And much of this is due to LinkedIn Groups.

  2. Leora — Excellent tips. I’d add another. In your LinkedIn profile you have the ability to change the default “Company Profile” to the name of your website. Next to Company Profile, hit edit, and in the drop-down menu choose Other. Then, in the next box add the name of your website and in the third box the URL. Really simple and another way to get out the name of your company.

  3. Steve Hippel says:

    Sounds like you had a great time Leora.
    Hats off to you as well. The few times I have spoken to an audience, I found it pretty scary.
    Thank’s for sharing your experience and giving some great tips as well.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Steve,

      The more I do it, the easier it becomes. But I still get butterflies in the stomach the day of a presentation. I’ve just learned to relax and enjoy while I’m up there. And friends who do presentations often say there are often glitches, no matter how much one prepares.

  4. Susan Cooper says:

    When I read your post I smiled …a really big smile. I have done MANY presentations using the all items you mentioned. In the beginning you learn what you missed when compiling a presentation and how embarrassing it is when it doesn’t go as planned. This is a VERY good checklist for anyone who is engaged in making any kind of presentation. :-)

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Thanks, Susan. Sometimes I wonder if one can really learn from a post – the lessons sink in much more when you make the mistakes yourself! But it’s good to have the opportunity to discuss out loud how to do things a little better next time.

      Truth is, despite those few issues with the one video, most of the talk went as planned. I had learned from past presentations (and from watching others give presentations).

  5. Hi Leora, Well done. I wish I still lived in New Jersey, I definitely would have come to your presentation. Did you show a YouTube video you created or was it by someone else?

    Great suggestions. It sounds as if it all went smoothly in spite of a few hiccups. That’s how we learn though!

    I would add to bring business cards with you, listing your website (with a QR code on the back pointing to your home page). Bring a lot more than you think you will need, some people take more than one!

    It sounds like a simple piece of advice, but you won’t believe how many people forget to bring those along.

    Thanks for the shoutout in your article, Leora. I greatly appreciate it. I’m so glad you are using Dropbox. It’s the perfect tool for a project like this one.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Carolyn, I actually did bring business cards. I am used to exchanging them with others – it felt strange not to get any in return.

      You are most welcome on the DropBox mention. In fact, DropBox came in handy yesterday when a busy client needed to send files to a reporter and didn’t have DropBox set up (yet). I suspect when she gets through her deadlines we might be setting up a DropBox account for my client.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Oh, and regarding the YouTube video, no, it wasn’t my own creation. (If it were, I would show it straight from my laptop). It was a short, well done video on how to optimize your LinkedIn listing with keywords so more seeker can find your profile. I decided to show it on a whim, because there were questions about completing one’s LinkedIn profile.

  6. Thanks for sharing your presentation with us Leora. You’ve included some great tips. It sounds like you really engaged your audience which is key to a successful presentation. I have held several workshops and I completely agree with you about the importance of having handouts. People do love takeaways and it also gives them a place to take notes during the class.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Thanks, Sherryl. In one of my presentations last year I tried collecting names of attendees, but that didn’t work so well. I’m not sure how easy it would have been to keep up with the names (and supposedly the Twitter handles, as it was a Twitter workshop). Handouts (and business cards as Carolyn mentioned) are easier and seem to be appreciated.

  7. Most of the presentation I make are for YouTube video and given the fact that those links are not clickable, I have gotten into a habit of not addition clickable links!

    Useful and valid tips! Thanks.

  8. Adrienne says:

    Hi Leora,

    I have no doubt you did an excellent job anyway. Sounds like to me that you were still very prepared and everyone was more than likely very eager to learn from you.

    Great presentation, loved those slide and you did good explaining LinkedIn. You have become quite the expert my dear.

    Thank you for sharing these with us too. Sure wish I could have been there live though.

    ~Adrienne

  9. Dhaval Jani says:

    Thanks for the tips Leora. I agree about creating hyperlinks as when I see some slides even I tend to click the links on it to go to the mentioned URL. Also the point about having a backup copy to your presentation is very true.

    I did’nt know about the presentation until I saw this post. Will try to make it for Facebook straight from work.

    • Leora Wenger says:

      Dhaval,

      That would be great, if you can make it to the Facebook talk tonight. It might be more information for novices, but having experienced people in the audience helps the conversation move along.

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