Follow-up: Defining and Measuring Social Success

From June 8-12, 2009 the MaRS Discovery District here in Toronto, ON ran an event called “Netchange Week” (, a week-long event designed to explore how social technology can bolster social change. As part of this week I was invited to come run an afternoon workshop on social media and how to effectively define success in a way that could be measured.

Working with Chris Berry from Critical Mass we collaborated on a two-part session – the first, a talk by Chris on practical social metrics followed by a facilitated session where I broke the attendees into groups and they took what Chris had presented and applied it to some example scenarios.

If you’d like to know more, I’ve included Chris’ slide deck below and detailed the full session at

As a freelance facilitator and information designer, I can help your organization discover, define and develop your story so you can share it more effectively – If your organization could benefit from better explaining what it is you do, then I can be of help. Contact me today.

HoHoTo is Back – August 18, 2009


Who says we have to wait until Christmas to have another party? HoHoto is back on August 18th. Dubbed Ho-HOT-o, in recoqnition of our summer date this party is shaping up to be another fantastic event to benefit the Daily Bread Food Bank here in Toronto.

Here’s the official announcement:

‘Tis the season… for HOT times and good deeds! HoHOTo brings the holiday spirit to the hot summer nights with a grand party at Wetbar & Suite 106 on August 18. There’ll be DJs, prizes, beautiful people, interactive fun and the warm fuzzy joy of doing good on a night out.

Once again the HoHOTo crew are bringing people together to support the Daily Bread Food Bank, feeding hungry people across the GTA. Show your support by buying tickets or just making a donation, and then Tweet (we’re @hohoto, or just use the #hohoto hashtag), email, Facebook or blog about your contributions.

You can share photos with us, send our DJs live requests via Twitter, but most importantly, come and party with the crew that brings the good times AND the good deeds.

Our holiday party last December was a huge success, and we’re planning even bigger things this year. Don’t miss out! There’s only 500 tickets for sale and once they’re gone… they’re gone.

As the post says “once they’re gone… they’re gone” and I guarantee you they will be. Last winter’s event sold out in just 9 days and I won’t even go into how much the few tickets that did become available sold for in the days leading up (let’s just say today’s price of $10 is one heck of a deal in comparison).

Sponsor HoHoTo!

If you’re a local business and want to help out in a big way, consider sponsoring us! Just drop me an email at ryan (at) ryancoleman (.) ca and I’ll connect you with the sponsorship team. Watch the site over the coming days as more details will be emerging about the sponsorship packages we’re offering.

So make sure you get your ticket and come join us for the Hottest party of the summer.

– Ryan

Next VizThinkU Workshop: “Agile Presenting” – July 30th!

VizthinkLogo400A quick VizThink update: Next Thursday, July 30th, we’re having our next VizThinkU workshop: “Agile Presenting: Engage your audience and introduce interactivity to your presentations” with Heather Gold and John Vlismas. Both are successful comedians who have also made a name for themselves as speakers with their respective, widely-praised, sessions “Unpresenting” and “The Shared World”.

Now I’m sure you’re asking yourself, “What do two comedians have to teach me about making my presentations better?”

More than you might suspect.

Imagine the work environment of a stand-up comic: Performing in an unfamiliar environment, to an unfamiliar crowd and they know there are at least one or two people out there in that dimly-lit room who probably want to take them down a peg. Sound familiar?

Maybe reminds you a little of your last speaking engagement, sales presentation or meeting?

While we’ve focused a lot at VizThink on making your presentations look more appealing and be more effective from a visual stand-point, we haven’t spent a whole lot of time on the skills around delivering it – which is why we assembled this VizThinkU course. This workshop will introduce you to new ideas about engaging and interacting with your audience as well as approaches to think quickly on your feet and react to unexpected situations.

Our two faculty members for this session, Heather Gold and John Vlismas, are both accomplished comedians and public speakers. In addition to their stand-up careers they’ve also consolidated their skills and experiences into workshops that they’ve delivered around the world, and our now bringing them online as part of VizThinkU.

This session promises to be entertaining and informative and you don’t want to miss it – be sure to register today.

This two and half hour webinar will be divided into two parts:

w/ Heather Gold

People who work in the digital realm love interactivity in every realm, but when it comes to presenting, they forget all about it.

In this workshop on UnPresenting innovative comedian Heather Gold breaks down how public communication works and then remakes it in our collective image. Heather focuses on the main thing business has ignored: the actual source of power in the room and how to engage it.

The Shared World
w/ John Vlismas

Successful comedians are high-functioning multi-taskers. They must exert charm, pre-empt mood changes and conclude a sale every time they tell a joke. Essentially, they are expert at forming temporary movements and guiding that movement for the duration of the performance. Take away the humour, and the skill set resembles the ideal profile for a good leader, be it a person or a brand.

Where corporations find it difficult to react to their markets quickly, encumbered by protocol largely designed to assign blame, comedians must assess and react in the blink of an eye, sometimes facing several thousand people they have never met.

Ideally specialist communicators, comedians are adept at managing risk, and do so constantly.

The Shared World™ is a system of thinking which encourages high-speed analysis using empathy, intuition and assimilation of data rapidly to make lightning speed, high quality decisions.

The key to winning over an audience is to position oneself directly at the heart of the crowd. Instead of trying to analyze how they feel – experience how they feel.

Don’t Miss this Workshop

Honestly, I’m really pumped for this workshop – John & Heather are both hilarious but, at the same time, also have really great content.  Whether you have to make small internal presentations or speak regularly to large audiences I guarantee you this is one you do not want to miss.

Check out the workshop page at and register today!

– Ryan

10 Photography Quotes You Should Know


Yesterday I came across a post entitled “10 Photography Quotes You Should Know” by Hákon Ágústsson at the Digital Photography School. It had some great nuggets in it but it struck me as the sort of thing that really needed some visuals to go along with it – after all, what fun is a bunch of photography quotes without photos?

Long story short, I had a little free time this morning and decided to put a slide deck together – it was a fun little personal exercise and I hope you like it.I sourced all the photos form Flickr under the Creative Commons license and I’ve put this deck out there with the Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-alike license as the strictest of the photos (that weren’t mine) requested.

The Presentation

[Presentation Design] Making the Pitch for Action on Climate Change

A few weeks ago I got introduced to the Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA), an organization which had been assembled to help achieve a ambitious, fair, and binding agreement in December at the UNFCC Climate Conference in Copenhagen. As they enter the final run-up to the event over the next few months they were looking to spruce up their presentation deck in advance of their official launch – the only catch? it had to be done in roughly 48 hours.


The Process

Up for the challenge, I got started. Over the next 48 hours I helped them entirely reflow the presentation to create a story that built up a case for action and showed how the GCCA would play a pivotal role in coming away from Copenhagen with a deal that was best for the planet, and all its stakeholders. From there I built out the presentation deck, created a consistent template and added visual elements that helped further illustrate what’s at stake.

The Results

Some example slides from the finished presentation

gcca_port gcca_port1

Case Study

I’ve summarized the entire process as a mini-case study on my site – you can access it here.

As a freelance facilitator and information designer, I can help your organization discover, define and develop your story so you can share it more effectively – If your organization could benefit from better explaining what it is you do, then I can be of help. Contact me today.