May 24, 2010

6’66” – Sympathy For The Devil (…or how to make Powerpoint interesting)

Picture 11

[Image courtesy of : Wendelboe on Flickr]

The *devil* in question was indeed the force of office evil that is Powerpoint, and Tom Alcott from the Social Network Company gave us a masterclass in how to keep presentations succinct, engaging and conversational while remaining in total control of your material.

His PechKucha style talk on social network analysis lasted exactly ‘6 minutes & 66 seconds’ and covered everything from a crash course in social psychology, the ambiguity of what being ‘connected’ actually means to mapping the *viral* spread of information within networks.

At the heart of it was that key question: Who is the most valuable node within any social network? The ‘hub’ (the most connected individual within a community). Or the ‘broker’ (the person who bridges between two communities and therefore allows that idea to spread to new audiences)?

Finding this overlap is something we are fascinated by, as it potentially allows the conversation to evolve and new participants to join. This was also a central theme to ‘Connected’ our last Rubber Book Club mail-out which explains the various ways information travels with some very entertaining illustrations.

So all good stuff and many thanks to Tom for coming in on a very warm and humid Friday afternoon.

Incidentally if ‘666’ is the number of the beast, does that make ‘668’ the neighbour of the beast?