photo of a podium with a microphone

Crowdsourcing and building a keynote presentation

I’m honored and humbled to have been asked to be the keynote speaker at the HighEdWeb Rochester Regional Conference on June 27, 2011. I’ve never given a keynote presentation before. And, I’m a tad rusty at conference presentations. I had taken a break from the conference circuit after 20 presentations in one year and wanting to focus my time and energy on my move to Ithaca and Ithaca College. This opportunity is giving me a great opportunity to get back in the saddle again, but I was hoping I could ask you for your thoughts.

Keynote presentations are tough. I’ve sat through dozens of them. Some have been fantastic. Others have tanked. Conferences typically attract people from all different kinds of backgrounds and experiences, and to try to find one broad topic that will appeal to all attendees is tough. In the case of this HighEdWeb Rochester Regional, we’ll have some web programmers, web designers, content strategists, marketers, communicators, and more. I want my talk to be useful, practical, and heck, maybe even inspirational.

My talk is current titled, “Reflect, Repurpose, Restructure, Re-energize: A journey from the last 15 years of the web in higher ed and the road ahead.” That’s a mouthful. I came up with a rough outline prior to accepting the keynote invitation to make sure I thought I could come up with something that might be worthy. The outline is still quite rough, and even though I’ve committed to the presentation, I’d still like to know what you might find helpful (“you” being the attendees – physically or virtually via Twitter or whatever).

In the “Reflect” opening, I thought I’d talk about where we came from, how much has changed, how much has stayed the same or we’re seeing repeat in various forms. In “Repurpose,” I’ll talk about skills web professionals (and marketing/communication types) have had in the past and how they can repurpose their skills into todays organizational needs. In “Restructure” I’ll actually talk about the organizational structure I inherited last summer at Ithaca College and what I’ve done to overhaul it in recent months, and my vision surrounding that effort. I’ll talk about higher ed’s challenges and needs within the web and marcom framework, and thought I’d try to tackle some hot topics (what do we do with magazines online, who should manage social media, is the viewbook dead, etc.). In “re-energize,” I’d like to share some thoughts about finding your niche, and find ways to leave you with some inspirational takeaways.

I have less than an hour to tackle all of this, yet I still find myself wondering if it’s not enough, or helpful enough. What do you think? What would be useful to you?