In no particular order:
- The two Andrews were amazing speakers. Andrew Hazen on SEO and Andrew Davis on Social Media. If you ever have the chance meet, listen, or watch these two present.
- When people don’t follow social conventions they stick out like sore thumbs: During a Q&A session after a panel discussion, everyone asks questions from their seats and listens to the panels responses. Very low key. Then this elderly lady stands up, says her name, her position, her industry, and proceeds to ask a question in the form of an advertisement for her business! The nerve of her, she got dirty looks. Think about this when developing social media engagement strategy.
- Do adults know how to put their cell phones on vibrate? I know the majority do, but geez, I’m in a conference room listening to elite thinkers in this field present, and cell phones were going off like crazy. Walk into an event, put your phone on vibrate, put it in your pocket, sit down and listen. Not much too it.
- The difference between a great present and a not good presenter are HUGE. The Andrews, great, two other guys-who-I’m-not-yet-mean-enough-to-name, not so good. Everyone was engaging with the Andrews and a real exchange of knowledge was taking place, with the other guys, I just wanted it to end. The best part was the one flop presenter described himself in the booklet as a highly sought after speaker and influential blogger. I guess when you’re not very good you have to shout it out.
- Networking at these events, as the great Chaz Reinholt would say, is like fishing with dynamite. 25 new business contacts! 25! Although my shouting of my success must mean I’m still mediocre (see previous bullet point), I want to try to pull out a lesson. Go to these events! Whatever your field, just go. The second piece of this lesson is to just stick yourself out there. Don’t be nervous. And if you are, try this: during networking breaks, whenever you cross paths with someone, take a quick look at the person’s nametag, say their name confidently, look them in the eye, walk up and shake their hand, and ask how their doing. The key is in saying their name; just watch their eyes light up.
- I want to speak at events like these. I want to be good enough at something that people will want me to share my knowledge. And I want to engage my audience as a presenter, so they leave not only having learned something, but having enjoyed it.