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-.

NACE15 Networking Tips

Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
Blogs from Chaim Shapiro.

We are almost there! NACE15 is so close that I can almost taste the salt-water air in Southern California.

The NACE Conference is the best time of the year for networking. All the leading professionals, both on the college and the employer side, will be in one place. Here are five tips to maximize your networking opportunities at NACE15.

  1. Start Tweeting using the official #NACE15 hashtag. Conference-related conversations have already begun. Get involved and show your expertise! The correct, official hashtag is #NACE15. Make sure to use that hashtag for all your Tweets so everyone can see them.
  2. Download the NACE15 attendees list and connect on LinkedIn. After you register for the NACE Conference, you can see the attendee list under “Events” on the “MyNACE” tab. I recommend downloading the list to a PDF so you can study it carefully. Make a list of your must-meet and network folks from that list and send them a personalized connection request mentioning that you would like to connect and meet with them at NACE15. Feel free to connect with me: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
  3. Engage the NACE leadership. I learned very quickly at my first conference five years ago that the NACE leadership is very accessible and open to engaging with NACE members. Make a list of the NACE Board Members and former presidents and introduce yourself at the conference.
  4. Reach out to workshop presenters. I always make a list of the workshop sessions I plan to attend. Create that list and e-mail the presenters of those workshops to tell them that you are looking forward to their presentation. Make sure you introduce yourself and thank them after their presentation.
  5. The old standby—meet for coffee! Nothing beats a face-to-face! Choose the top five folks you must meet and invite them to coffee. I am a bit biased here, because my favorite coffee shop (The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf) is an eight-minute walk from the conference hotel.

I look forward to seeing you at NACE15—and yes, I’d love to meet for coffee!

Chaim Shapiro will facilitate “Social Media Best Practices,” cone of the campfire conversations, 4:30 – 5:15 p.m., Thursday, June 4, Grand Ballroom J-H.


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

The Social Media-Enhanced Job Search: Creepy or Courageous?

kevin grubb NACE Ambassador Kevin Grubb
Associate Director, Digital Media & Assessment at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevingrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.
Blogs from Kevin Grubb.

At the 2014 NACE conference, I heard lots of conversations about social media, recruiting, and job searching. That’s not surprising; social media is still influencing our work and changing it with exponential speed. I found myself often reflecting on the class that I teach at Villanova on social media and creating a professional identity online and whether all that we can do with technology now is creepy or courageous.

In my class, I have every student read the privacy policy of Facebook or Twitter and write a reflection on what they found. If we were taking live polls of my ratings as a professor, I can tell you my scores would drop like a lead bucket as soon as that assignment goes out. Doesn’t everybody just click on “I agree to (insert website name) privacy policy and terms of use” right away and start the sharing? Ugh!

Facebook Terms of Use

Have you ever read this entire thing?

But, when I read the resulting papers and talk with students afterward, there’s always been only gratitude. What they learned was a mixture of “creepy” and empowering: they’re now aware of what information is out there and start confidently making decisions to be smart online.

“Creepy” is a word I hear often when I talk with groups of students and professionals about social media. I hear it especially in conversations about LinkedIn’s “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature, which shows you just what it says it will. Conversely, when you view the profiles of others, they would be able to know that, too. You can change your visibility in this feature via privacy settings, though I will say I think users should remain visible in almost every case. I’ve heard many good stories about connections getting made and even an interview being offered when two people realized they stumbled on each other’s profiles.

Are there elements of social media that feel creepy? I won’t argue that it can create uncomfortable moments. However, social media can also be empowering, as the students in my class find out together. To get active, to share your goals and your ideas (without “oversharing”—either emotionally or just by posting too often), and to connect with people about those ideas: that’s a powerful possibility social media creates.

It’s a big, big stage we’re on when we talk about sharing ourselves and our stuff on social media. Anyone who realizes the magnitude of reaching thousands or millions of people with a few taps on the keyboard and a mouse click is right to say, “I should really think carefully about this.” In my experience talking with people, that also scares the heck out of them. What if I share some things that really matter to me and nobody cares? What if someone bashes my ideas? Do I have anything worthy enough to share?

For students, being active on social media in a professional manner takes courage. It’s trying something new. Just like putting on a business suit for the first time felt strange, so does putting on your digital suit when you interact on social media. Did it take them a little courage to make the first introduction to someone at a networking event or career fair? So, too, does it take courage to ask for help from alumni on LinkedIn, to tweet to professionals they think are doing great work or to write a blog post?

Perhaps the social media-enhanced job search is part creepy and part courageous. For now, I’m in the courageous camp. NACE blog readers: What do you think?

First NACE Excursion Is a Hit!

NACE14 Excursion

Some NACE14 attendees hiked their way through a conference workshop on Monday, visiting three historic San Antonio locations for a presentation and a question-and-answer session with business representatives.
The 1.2-mile walk began at the Marriott Riverwalk. Attendees made their first stop at the Arneson River Theatre, an 800-seat amphitheater on the banks of the San Antonio River, with entrances into La Villita Historic Arts Village.

NACE14 Excursion 2

NACE14 Excursion









The excursion continued to The History Shop, a shop that carries original antique maps, antique books, militaria, and antique weapons. The shop specializes in Texas history: Spanish Colonial, Texas Revolution, Republic era, and the Civil War. The excursion ended with a 45-minute, 2.5-mile cruise. Rio San Antonio Cruises provided a narrated boat tour of the city.NACE14 Excursion 5

The NACE14 Excursion is a concept adapted from Jim Gilmor and Joe Pine (The Experience Economy: Work Is Theatre & Every Business a Stage) and their annual thinkAbout excursions.san antonio river cruise