Monday, January 7, 2013

7 Readings for Association Executives

5 Nonprofit Trends to Watch in 2013 By Nell Edgington via SocialVelocity
I’m more optimist than a fortune teller, but I do think that the nonprofit sector is changing in some exciting ways. And I for one am excited to see what the new year brings. Here’s what I think we should watch for: 
  1. More Demand for Outcomes
  2. Decreasing Emphasis on Nonprofit “Overhead”
  3. More Advocacy for the Sector? as a Whole
  4. Savvier Donors
  5. Increased Efforts to Rate and Compare Nonprofits
To Create Engaging Content Marketing You Must Hug the Chaos 
By Robert Rose via Content Marketing Institute
My grandfather used to say something that’s been on my mind a lot recently. Whenever I got frustrated about anything — school, a job, life — he would ask me “What have you created lately?” Then, he’d chide me: “Go create a new experience for someone.” He wrote this to me once in a card that explained this idea, which was: When you create a new experience for someone, you get to experience it — and in turn, it creates new opportunity for you. I didn’t really know what he meant by that until just recently. I’ve rewritten my grandfather’s suggestion a bit, and this is what I’ve come up with:

“It is in the creation of the experience that we get to experience new creation.”
We’ve heard this of course. Business is changing; marketing is changing. But really what’s happening is that people are changing. 

Five Energy Hungry Brain Functions We Use At Conferences 
By Jeff Hurt via Velvet Chainsaw’s Midcourse Corrections

Five brain functions make up the majority of your conscious thought at your conference: understanding, decision-making, recall, memorizing and inhibition. These functions are recombined to communicate, plan, problem-solve and perform other mental tasks. They all use the pre-frontal cortex of your brain intensively and require considerably more metabolic resources than you realize. If you fully understood the limitations of your and your attendees’ brains and the amount of resources–glucose and oxygen–each task requires, you would plan conference schedules differently. Attendees must be given adequate breaks and down time as well as healthy food that replenishes their metabolic resources. Trying to keep a constant focus on mental energy hungry tasks for six to eight hours doesn’t work. The brain just shuts down. This explains why often on the third day of a conference, your attendees are exhausted.

5 Underrated Traits of Great Leaders 
By Jeff Haden via Inc Magazine
Some bosses who inspire, motivate, and make employees feel better about themselves. Here's what they do differently from everyone else.
  1. They quietly pick up trash
  2. They don't ask poets to diagram sentences
  3. They go back for their own notes
  4. They shy away from spotlights
  5. They jump on grenades

6 Tips for Increasing User Engagement On Mobile Apps  

By Stephanie Miles via StreetFight blog

More and more businesses are developing branded apps as part of their mobile marketing programs, integrating location-based technology with product reviews, deal information, and even gaming elements to reach consumers. An app that fails to pique the interest of consumers is likely to be pushed aside and become one of the 80% of mobile apps with 1,000 or fewer downloads.
  1. Make a great first impression. 
  2. Integrate community into the app’s foundation
  3. Provide genuine utility and lasting value
  4. Add a gamification element
  5. Use push notifications to spur engagement
  6. Enhance the user experience in real-time
By Andrea Smith via Mashable
It’s not OK to know nothing about social media or the Internet anymore. It’s especially not OK if you are an anchor for a major network TV news program. It was meant to be cute, but it came off as plain dumb. Here’s a wake-up call, morning crew; your audience is not that dumb. While this Mashable blog is aimed at the Today Show, it offers a compelling message for associations too.

How to Communicate More Effectively in Board Meetings: Three Tips 
By Narges Nirumvala via Support Services Unlimited
[Note from Steve: I added this even though I don’t fully agree with it ... for example, I have not had “an assistant” for 20+ years and feel a director – not an assistant – should read the agendas!]
  1. Read the agenda ahead of time or have your assistant read it for you.
  2. Prepare for and practice your talking points. 
  3. Use gestures and non-verbal communication to your advantage.
  4. One final point; remember to give others the respect they deserve by listening to them attentively. My clients are always surprised when I tell them that one of the best ways to improve your public speaking skills is to listen more and talk less.

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