As a celebrity media trainer, I have to watch the Academy Awards. Sometimes my clients are winners and have to deliver acceptance speeches or speak to the press about how they feel about not winning, areas I have coached them on. I also like to observe acceptance speeches, whether I worked with the winners or not, and use them as examples about what works and what doesn't in presentation and public speaking.
Anyway, as 10:30 PM or so rolls around, I usually struggle to stay awake. This year, however, I was deeply involved in a Twitter conversation, a tweetchat with other communications experts. I can tell you, I have never had so much fun, learned so much and provided so much to others while watching this broadcast.
Oscar will never be the same. For me. Thank. Goodness.
We all know Twitter is a marvel, a social media mechanism that works well to broadcast information, enhance marketing, and keep track of interesting people. With my Academy Awards Twitter experience, I have learned that it's easy to create communities of like-minded people and experts across time zones and oceans.
The dynamic on Oscar night was electrifying owing to the instantaneousness of the feedback. Each time I saw a new comment or received a retweet, reply or direct message, it was clear I was being heard. We all were. We were also respectful of each others' opinions. And the snark was limited, which takes discipline when the theme is Hollywood. This was social media communication at its best.
Every member of our group had a well-thought out opinion. Which makes social media a terrific learning medium, too.
I was honored to be joined by Jennifer Abernethy, author of the upcoming "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Social Media Marketing." (Fastcompany.com interview coming soon.) Jenn's astute comments on where social media would be next year at this time were fascinating. Now I'm thinking ahead. Then there was Dan Gerstein of Gotham Ghostwriters, who actually invited me to participate in #oscarspeeches, a moniker for the tweetchat he'd set up. Dan is a well-known politicial communications consultant and his insights throughout the evening were thought-provoking and enlightening. Also contributing was Meredith Liepelt, a remarkable client attraction coach who extracted entrepreneurial advice from the celebrities' speeches and communications. Actress and photographer Britt Olsen-Ecker was actually there, on Hollywood Boulevard, sending photos and tweets over her mobile phone for the Baltimore Sun, which I happily retweeted so everyone could enjoy them.
We were joined by people new to me, who had a lot to add. Now, here's the interesting thing: I have never met some of these people. But, because of this experience, I would like to and will work to make that happen. That is a remarkable outcome.
For the several years, I have felt that the revolution in communication has been pushing us further apart and impeding our ability to build relationships. Far from driving us apart, however, the part of the revolution known as Social Media is bringing us closer.
That's a happy thought.
BTW, I invite all FastCompany.com bloggers and readers to join my Website Launch Celebration Event 3/15-3/19. I will be giving away loads of information on speaking and communication each day — teleclasses, audio, ebooks,etc. Jennifer Abernethy will be my special guest on Social Media Marketing and Brad Olsen-Ecker on Graphic Image/Design. Go to ruthsherman.tv for details and to register.
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Ruth Sherman Associates LLC High-Stakes Communications Greenwich, CT