We're webcasting the PSA World Conference next month, but only for people who don't sign up before it sells out. Some of our participants will tweet from the conference, too. But their chief contribution will be to wrongly reassure people who didn't make it that they're not missing much.
At PSA speechwriting events, I deliver a set piece about there being only one remaining reason to give speeches since the advent of the Gutenberg's press, radio, TV, Internet and YouTube.
What started out as an efficiency move—"gather everybody together in the cave so I can tell 'em all at once"—is now an almost scandalously inefficient and old-school form of communication, that requires many people to inconvenience their families and office mates, fill the air with pollution to get to some place so they can sit silent for a half and hour, and listen to one human being spout off.
Yet we still give speeches and we still attend them. Why? For the magic. For the physical, chemical, emotional, communal experience of being together with other human beings at one moment.
One of my proof points about the intoxicating people-glue of in-person events are the goddamned stupid live tweets you get from conferences. Otherwise sensible communicators will come out with tweets like these real ones from a recent executive communication event.
A good story has twists and changes the conversation… Thoughts?
Want to get authenticity from your principal. Push them out of their comfort zone.
Find out where brand, culture, and leadership naturally connect.
What is the best end result of an executive comms effort? Customer satisfaction.
"Nobody ever needs a video – you need to solve a biz problem." Yes!
"Keep it Real" … This seems so simple, but it can be a challenge!
Do these tweeters imagine that colleagues in remote offices are slapping their foreheads and screaming "Eureka!"?
Yes, they do! But like drunks who make short stories long, they are profoundly buzzed on the interpersonal vibes they're getting from the conference speakers and from the experience of being together. They sense they are learning something—and they are—but they don't know what, or why.
That's because what happens at professional conferences—at good ones, anyway—is magic.
It's the magic of hope, that if we can all agree on simple, well-expressed truth all at once right here in the same room—we can take courage back to our workplaces, and do more meaningful work.
Hope and well-expressed truth and courage and meaning and togetherness—in a work world so often lacking in it.
That's primarily what we're getting at conferences. And yes, you have to be there.*
* This being our first World Conference Webcast, I will sincerely ask remote participants who have attended a past World Conference in person, how the event translates through the computer screen.
* And maybe the tweeters at #psaworldconference will prove me wrong, too.