I was honored (doesn’t everyone say that, but seriously, I mean it) to speak at 2012 The Special Events. Whew. I figured not a lot of people would show up, but a girl can hope, right? Well, I was wrong. The energy was super cool in the room too. You know how there are people who want to heckle you at these big conventions? Happy it didn’t happen, and I didn’t have to show my true L.A. colors.
So here’s a quick recap, from a speaker’s point-of-view:
Things I learned speaking at The Special Events:
- Being put in a hotel conference room across from the regular convention can be a good thing. I worried that I wouldn’t get any attendees to my session at all. First I competed with lunch time (12:00 pm presentation) and secondly I had fierce competition (Ivy Robinson was speaking and she is pretty awesome). The chairs were more comfortable and we had tables for laptops.
- Always lay the ground rules before speaking. I did go through the table of contents (good idea to let everyone know what will be coming up), I forgot to mention not to record or video record my session. Just so everyone knows, since it was brought up to me several times. I didn’t mean to embarrass the attendee, it really caught me off guard. You should know she profusely apologized afterwards, she was new to conferences.
- Cover your blouse when you brush your teeth before your presentation. I’m surprised I had any toothpaste left that was washed down the drain. Apparently my high powered battery operated toothbrush sprayed minty foam all over me.
- It’s super exciting to see the maintenance workers have to bring in more chairs for people to sit, as there was standing room only. That’s pretty self explanatory.
- Only one person left my presentation early. See above.
- A wide room is a better room. The layout was a lot more cozy than the rooms at the convention center. Made for a better presentation and connection with attendees.
- Don’t flip through slides so fast. Apparently I irritated a few by whizzing through them. Dully noted.
- If you are going to quiz your audience then have the answers on a slide. But wasn’t that fun?
- Make sure your posse eats before they come to your session. My girls were there to support me. But they looked hungry the whole time I spoke.
- Be yourself and don’t worry. People would be SURPRISED to know how many times I wake up at 2am before I give a presentation. It’s not the worry of presenting, it’s the worry that you won’t get anything out of it.
Loved all the feedback from the attendees that would stop me on the trade show floor. You made my heart swell with pride.
Here’s a few video excerpts from some awesome people we met. (Thanks Kelly McWilliams for videotaping these testimonials):
For more fun, check out our 2012 The Special Events Recap … it’s kinda epic. In our own minds….
ps Leave me a note if you were at the TSE session … let me know what you thought!