Highlights From the #NACE15 App

Everything you need to navigate the NACE 2015 Conference & Expo like an expert is at your fingertips with the NACE app.

(You can download the app for free by going to your device’s app store and searching for NACE15. Plus, every time you open the app, it will update with any changes or additions to the conference schedule.)

Here are some of the tools you’ll want to use:

Connect: This tool will help you connect and network with any conference attendees and get their contact information effortlessly. First, click on Connect and set up a virtual business card. (You can set up more than one card. Use different information on your card depending on who will see it. When you make a connection through the app, you’ll choose which card to share.)

Look through the attendee list (in the connect area). Click the + next to a person’s name and then choose the card you want to share. After you’ve selected the card by clicking on it, you’ll slide the card up the screen to the person you’ve chosen to share you information with. That person will then accept (or reject) your connection. Once connected, you’ll see their contact information and they will show up on top of the general attendee list as “connected attendees.”

You can tap the “edit note” bar on the card of anyone you’ve connected with and add notes about where you met or how you will get back in touch with the person.

Also, your contacts will show on your scheduled events. For example, when you view the MLI Meetup, you’ll see contacts that are attending.

Your connections through the app can be edited up to two weeks after the conference ends. The contacts and information saved will be available to you until 12/17/2015.

Three little bars or buttons in the upper right corner of the screen: What you get when you tap these depends on the device you are using. On the iPad, you can access to your virtual business card and connections, check for conference updates, share the “help” guide, and turn push messages on and off. On an android phone, the three buttons offer a link to searching the “help” guide and checking for conference updates.

Schedule: This is the first link on the left side—and it offers a lot of information. Plus, here’s where you’ll populate the “My Schedule” to personalize your conference experience.

Click on the name of the event and you’ll get a map that shows where the event is being held and a short description of the event. You’ll also see a button—Add to My Schedule—at the bottom of the page. Click that + and it will be added to your personal schedule. Then, when you’re at the conference, you can use the My Schedule tab to view your personal schedule.

Social: Keep up with announcements, event reminders, and general chat going on during the conference. Use to Social tab on the nav bar to get direct links to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and the NACE blog.

Maps: Never get lost at the conference. Detailed maps of the Marriott floor plan and the Hilton Anaheim Ballroom are included. Use your fingers to make either map bigger or smaller.

To-Do: While you’re scheduling your concurrent sessions, you may want to add a list of the exhibitors you want to see. Click on To-Do and the “Add New” button at the bottom of the page. Click the + and add the name of an exhibitor. You can update any note you put in the to-do list.

General Info: Quickly identify your colleagues by their profession using the badge colors. Career services practitioners will be sporting blue badges, university relations and recruiting professionals wear red badges. Need help? NACE staff have black badges (and shirts with the NACE logo).

Attendees: Trying to locate friends and colleagues. Click on this part of the nav bar and search for friends by name.

If you get stuck when using the NACE15 app, there’s online help at https://support.guidebook.com/hc/en-us/articles/202891364-Using-the-Guidebook-App-for-end-users-.

Make Your Conferencing Easy

Whether you’re new to NACE’s annual conference or this is your 10th time attending, here are things that will make this hectic and fun week easier.

Download the app and schedule your time. Set up your itinerary and use your#NACE15 app smartphone or tablet to be your daily guide. The conference app offers information on all workshops and sessions, plus it links you to NACE’s social media so you can get updates and reminders for conference activities. (Go to your device’s app store and search for NACE15. The app is free.)

Weather Forecast: The average temperatures in the Anaheim area in early June are typically in the mid- to upper-70s.

shoesChoose your shoes for comfort. Business casual is the recommended dress for the event, but comfortable shoes are key. While all conference events are within a short walking distance, going to workshops, visiting the exhibit hall, and hitting the general sessions means the potential for a lot of wear and tear on your feet. Wear your most comfortable shoes.

Drop into the TECHbar in the Expo Hall to get quick demonstrations of how to use apps that will help you to be more productive. Look for “TechBytes,” special presentations on tech topics. (Sponsored by Macy’s.)gapingvoid

Recharging Lounge: Recharge your electronic devices while you recharge yourself by looking at artwork from gapingvoid.com. (See more from gapingvoid.com in booth 304.)

Picture this in the Headshot Lounge: Need a professional photo for your social media profile? Folks from University Photo will take your picture.

Tenley HalaquistIf the shirt is turquoise, it must be Tuesday. Questions? Need help? NACE staff is easily identifiable by the color of their shirts.

  • Wednesday, staff will wear emerald green.
  • Thursday, the shirt is red.
  • Friday, staff will be wearing light blue shirts.

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Registration is open. Pick up your registration packet. Tuesday, June 2, registration is open from noon until 8:30 p.m. in the Platinum Ballroom; and 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. An information desk will be open from 7 a.m. to noon on Friday.

Get free Wi-Fi in the NACE space at the conference. Password: NACE15.

Toss in a card and win a prize. Look for entry forms in your registration packet to enter prize drawings—and drop them off each day at Booth 136 in the Expo Hall to win.

Campfire Conversations Join one of 10 brainstorming-the-issues sessions with your colleagues from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, in Grand Ballroom J-H. (See page 34 of the program for a list of conversation topics and facilitators.)NACE15PartyAd

Bring your Bermuda shorts and your favorite beach shirt. Surf City USA, a Thursday evening celebration, features a live band and relaxed networking.

Don’t Leave Your Room Without: Room key, electronic device with the NACE15 app and your schedule loaded, and conference badge (you can’t get into any sessions or events without it). Consider carrying a light sweater in case session rooms are chilly.

 

Apps to Keep You Sane!

James Marable

James Marable, Manager, Social Media (Executive & College Recruitment) @Macy’s Inc.
Twitter: @JMarable
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/james-marable/4/29a/93

Imagine living in a world without multiple deadlines, no crazy travel schedules, no back-to-back (to back) meetings, or a world where you don’t have to rush from work to your kid’s band practice because you forgot it was your turn to pick him or her up! Now imagine living in a world where your spontaneous ideas weren’t forgotten as fast as you came up with them, or a hard drive crash erases the presentation that you’ve been working over a month on because your hard drive crashed! Well keep dreaming because most of those things are still going to happen, but there are some great tools to help minimize all of this stress.

We live in a nonstop world—it’s almost a full-time job to keep up with everything going on. With the advent of the smartphone, we are armed with a device that allows us to be creative, informed, entertained, and productive. Although smartphones have great power, they can easily become another distraction without the right set of apps to keep you on track.

The first app that I recommend is Todoist, a productivity tool which allows one to detail project tasks in a very meticulous manner through a simple and direct interface. I was introduced to this program in 2013, and I can’t remember how I got by before it. I sometimes liken myself to the “absent-minded professor,” because I’m constantly working on something (whether it’s for my role as a social media manager or for one of the countless external activities I’m involved with) and it’s easy for me to forget a step or two (or three). It allows me to separate all of my projects, then break down individual tasks, and even share responsibilities/tasks with individuals I may be partnering with. The app is accessible on almost every device/platform you can think of; iOS, android, PC, Mac, Gmail, and Outlook, so you can access your lists whether you have your phone or not. Tasks can be flagged with “priority levels,” allowing one to decide what needs to be done and in what order. It’s very flexible—it allows one to mesh their own approach to productivity. If you want to gain greater control over defining what needs to be done Todoist is worth a look.

So you’re running a little late for a flight and after doing lap after lap of the parking lot, lugging all your (and/or someone else’s) bags, and making a mad dash to the terminal only to find out your flight has been delayed. Ever happen to you? Yeah, me too.

tripcaseTripCase is a great app for iOS and android devices (there’s a web version too), that lays out an overview of a full trip itinerary in chronological order, detailing flight information, hotel addresses, car rental reservation numbers, and more. It strips out all of the unnecessary information in those ridiculously long confirmation e-mails and just gives you the pertinent facts. TripCase also updates flight status in real time so you aren’t that guy racing through the airport (unless you’re really, really late)!

Inspiration strikes at a moment’s notice; when it hits, you want to be able to capture it completely to expand upon later, and Evernote is the app to facilitate this. One could evernotesimply write off Evernote as just a note taking app and question why one shouldn’t use the notepad on their phone. My pushback to that thinking is based on its flexibility and connectedness. Evernote lets you create all kinds of notes; text, photo, voice, and video, and gives you access to them on all of your devices (PC, Mac, android phone/tablet, iPhone/iPad/iPod). No matter where you capture your thought, it becomes accessible on any device that has the app. The interface is totally user friendly and everything is searchable via keywords and tags. All your notes are stored within digital notebooks that live in your personal cloud, so you don’t have to worry about your notes dying with a malfunctioning/lost device or misplaced piece of paper. Whether you’re in a team meeting and forgot paper and pen to capture everyone’s ideas, or you’re on an evening jog and the solution to world peace comes to you, Evernote allows you to compose your thoughts and store them in an archive you will always have access to no matter where you are.

These are just three of the apps that I use to bring a little order to my life from home to work to play and back again; give them a whirl and see if they don’t increase your productivity!

Lastly, here are a few other apps that I’d recommend you take a look at: FeedlyPocketCudaSign, and Google Drive —they are great time savers and make life on the go that much more bearable.

James Marable is the social media manager at Macy’s Executive Recruitment & College Relations. Macy’s is sponsoring the 2015 Conference TECHbar in the Expo Hall.

 

 

Be Gentle When Networking With Introverts

Chris Carlson

Christopher Carlson, Director of Talent Acquisition and Diversity, Tennessee Valley Authority
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc
Blogs from Christopher Carlson

The 2015 NACE Conference is just around the corner and we all know what that means—networking, best practices, learning, and fun. To prepare last year, I wrote a blog about survival tips for the introverts attending the conference. Another introvert appreciated my comments and asked me to present in a peer-to-peer session on introverts. I had to say yes to support my fellow introverts—remember, we can still be outgoing and friendly.

This year, in preparation for the conference, I wanted to share tips on how extroverts can get the most out of us methodical, introspective, and often brilliant introverts (you know I’m smiling as I write this). So here are some networking tips for our extrovert friends:

  • Pauses are not responses: Don’t assume that when an introvert pauses in the conversation that he/she has nothing to say. We like to marinate on a topic and formulate a response in our heads before speaking. Extroverts are known to “think out loud.” Allow an introvert a moment to process a response internally.
  • Approach “gently:” If you have ever driven through Maryland, the state welcomes you on their sign with a nice slogan of “Please drive gently.” In a similar fashion, approach introverts gently with a simple “Hello, how are you?” This approach is a great way to allow an introvert to become comfortable. Don’t jump right in and pretend to be his or her best friend. We introverts do warm up, but it takes us a minute to get comfortable and to feel safe. Once comfortable, you can’t get some of us to stop talking—trust me, I have friends that would pay someone to shut me up at times.
  • Don’t take offense: If you ever see an introvert, a true introvert, in a large crowd of people where everyone is networking, you will notice one of two scenarios: The introvert is probably drinking to help become comfortable with all the noise and people, or the introvert will become exhausted quickly and will want to run out of the room.

If we seem to be distant or look like we want to run away as fast as we can, trust me, we like you and we want to spend time talking to you, but we’re overwhelmed by the surroundings. Try walking with us to a quieter spot or move the conversation to where there are fewer people. You will see that we are going to be more inclined to engage when not surrounded. (When I lived in Los Angeles, my friends would invite me to all sorts of parties. They had a bet to see who could get me to actually show up. It was rare, but I did show up to a few gatherings.)

These are just three tips for you extroverts out there on how to optimize your networking with us. Suzanne Helbig from UC, Irvine and I will be sharing more about the great insights you can gain from introverts at the conference, I hope you join us in a peer-to-peer session on Wednesday, June 3.

Presentation Skills for Aspiring Leaders—Step 3: Takeaways

Sue Keever WattsSue Keever Watts
Senior Director at ROI Communication
Blog: http://keevergroup.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/sue-keever-watts/0/aa/b60
Twitter: @SueKeever
Blogs from Sue Keever Watts.

The third element in any presentation is “your story.” Your story is your message. Whether you’re giving a PowerPoint presentation or presenting without any props or aids at all, think of your message as a coherent story.

You want the audience to keep their eyes on you (not on your slides or props). Because we read from left to right, stand to the left (audience’s left) of the screen. Your slides simply keep you on track. The shorter the better.  Too much data and your audience will get overloaded and ultimately disconnect. Don’t anticipate your next slide. Look at the slide as though you’re seeing it for the first time along with the audience. Slides exist to queue you. They’re not the storyteller. You are. Use your voice to drive home your point.

Don’t read your slides verbatim. Reading puts people to sleep and completely kills all interest in your topic. It undermines your credibility and is the fastest way to drive people from the room.

If presenting a quote, look at the slide together and say something like, “Read the words of a great leader.” If you’re presenting findings or statistics, don’t try to fit everything into one slide. Select one statistic per slide and be creative. For example, instead of showing a bar chart of your intern conversion rates over the past five years, show one slide that says “Conversion rates up 75 percent.”

End with a quote, a story, a challenge, or a call to action. If you want to keep people’s attention, make eye contact. If you want to make your story relevant, then use the word “you.” Incorporate statements such as “Have you ever” or “I believe you’ll find” or “What do you think about?”  Your presentation isn’t all about you—it’s all about your audience.

Remember, if your body language or your voice gets in the way of your overall message, you’ll lose your audience. Delivery can make or break your presentation, so spend as much time on your voice and your nonverbal communication as you do your slide deck.

Sue Keever Watts will deliver Presentation Skills for Aspiring Leaders on Wednesday, June 3, at NACE15. She has been helping leaders develop their presentation skills for more than 25 years.

If you missed part 1 or part 2, you can read them on the NACE Blog.

Presentation Skills for Aspiring Leaders—Step 2: Delivery

Sue Keever WattsSue Keever Watts
Senior Director at ROI Communication
Blog: http://keevergroup.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/sue-keever-watts/0/aa/b60
Twitter: @SueKeever
Blogs from Sue Keever Watts.

There are three things that matter when you’re presenting. Here’s a hint—one of the three is not your PowerPoint deck. The three things include your nonverbal communication, your voice, and your message. Your body language (nonverbal communication) and voice dramatically impact whether your audience believes what you have to say. Simply put, the way you deliver your message is what people use to judge your level of expertise, intelligence, and trustworthiness. We’ve all watched presentations where we couldn’t get past the speaker’s irritating voice, her pacing, or his lack of eye contact.

Let’s start with the most important of the three, which is nonverbal communication. By this I mean your posture, your body language, and your overall presence. Although difficult, the best way to stand in front of an audience is with your arms at your side. Clasping your hands together is a natural response to fear. In essence, you’re covering or protecting yourself. And, when you clasp your hands, you look nervous (which, of course, you are). When you look nervous, you appear less confident and that impacts your credibility.

You can use your hands to make a point or to point at something, but when not in use, they should be at your side. Also, when you move, move with purpose. Don’t rock back and forth, and don’t wander aimlessly. Walk over to one side of your audience, make eye contact with someone in the audience, make your point, pause, and then walk to another side of the room and do the same thing. Making eye contact with individuals in your audience creates intimacy. Finally, don’t talk at your audience, talk to them. Think of your presentation as a conversation. How would you deliver this information to one person over a cup of coffee? A good presenter is able to close the gap between herself and her audience.

The second most important element in your presentation is your voice. By voice, I mean your cadence, how you punctuate your sentences, and whether or not you pause. Have you ever listened to a presentation and the speaker’s voice never changed? It didn’t speed up or slow down. It didn’t rise or fall. It was flat, it was frenetic, or it was extremely loud throughout the entire presentation. More than likely, you lost interest.

Effective presenters raise their voices to accentuate a point. They lower their voices to almost a whisper to draw in their audience. Pausing is one of the most effective tools in the presenter’s arsenal. Every time you pause, you give the audience time to fully absorb what you’ve said. It is truly the only way that you can effectively get your message across. Oftentimes people give too much information. They give it too quickly. They don’t pause. And, then they wonder why no one was able to remember what they said. Pause often, and pause after you’ve made an important point. Finally, use your voice to punctuate your sentences. Don’t be afraid to demonstrate a little emotion by raising your voice (or lowering your voice), using your arms, or simply pausing to let the full impact of your message reach the audience.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about takeaways. If you have any suggestions or related stories, please e-mail me at swatts@roico.com.

Read Step 1 on the NACE Blog. Also, see Step 3.

Presentation Skills for Aspiring Leaders—Step 1: Prep Work

Sue Keever WattsSue Keever Watts
Senior Director at ROI Communication
Blog: http://keevergroup.wordpress.com/
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/sue-keever-watts/0/aa/b60
Twitter: @SueKeever
Blogs from Sue Keever Watts.

All great presenters have one thing in common: they give, they don’t take. In fact, the best way to give a truly memorable presentation is to turn the tables and shift the focus away from you and onto your audience. In this three-part series, we’ll cover the essential elements of a powerful presentation—prep work, delivery, and takeaways. Anyone can be a great presenter, I promise. It just takes practice. Here are some tips for getting started:

  1. See yourself as a present-er. I know it’s cheesy, but if you think of your presentation as a gift, then you’re much more likely to capture the attention of your audience.
  2. Step away from the computer. Never build your presentation with a PowerPoint template. Your presentation isn’t your PowerPoint deck. The presentation is you—your brain, your ideas, your perspective, and your knowledge. Firm up your ideas before you put them into a template.
  3. Know your audience. Who are they and what information do they need? A presentation isn’t about holding people captive for an hour. It’s an opportunity to captivate, inspire, inform, transform, or educate.
  4. Identify one big idea. What do you want your audience to take away? Focus on no more than two-to-three key points, but find a repeating theme (one big idea) that pulls it all together.
  5. Use stories to engage your audience. Look for opportunities to incorporate brief stories into your presentation. Don’t be afraid to make it personal—use, perhaps, a story that influenced your viewpoint or position on the subject.
  6. Nail the opening. Audiences are easily distracted. You have to capture their attention quickly. Open with a surprising fact, a related story, or a question. Engage your audience from the get-go. Never open with an apology, excuse, or long-winded review of your accomplishments.
  7. PowerPoint isn’t the problem: bullet points are. Most PowerPoint presentations could give themselves. They’re packed with too many words, far too many ideas, and way too many instructions. If you use PowerPoint, think of the meaning of each slide. What idea are you trying to get across? Find an appropriate photo or graphic as the background and create one sentence that captures the essence of your message. Just one sentence per slide.
  8. Visualize. As you prepare to give your presentation, ask yourself what you would say if technology failed and it was just you and the audience. Then, visualize each slide along with the key message you’re trying to convey. Practice. Practice. Practice.
  9. Know when to stop. Your audience has an attention span of about 18 minutes. If you have an hour to speak, be sure to create opportunities for audience participation, discussion, and/or brainstorming. If you want your audience to retain the information you’ve presented, they have to participate.
  10. Prepare for objections or questions in advance. Determine whether you’re going to take questions during, between sections, or after your presentation. Always repeat the question. Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll get back to you.”

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to deliver an effective presentation. If you have any suggestions or related stories, please e-mail them to me at swatts@roico.com.

Sue Keever Watts will deliver Presentation Skills for Aspiring Leaders on Wednesday, June 3, at NACE15. She has been helping leaders develop their presentation skills for more than 25 years.

Read: Step 2 and Step 3