This was the topic I spoke about on Thursday night at WebCamp Penang. It was a lovely surprise to get the invitation to speak because I haven’t spoken for a while, not since last year, anyway.
I like speaking because it allows me to share what I know with an audience. I also like speaking because each time I get the opportunity to do so, I use it as a way for me to improve my speaking and presentation skills. Each round, I do feel I get much better especially in raising my own personal benchmark of what I want to achieve.
A number of friends and clients turned up at Piktochart’s HQ to hear me speak and for this, I am truly thankful. Andrew came all the way from town. Jeanne and friends came from Tanjung Tokong. Mardilyn came with her daughter.
Even my neighbour, Kok Peng, attended with his Intel colleague! What made me happy was this statement from my friend, Betty who told me: “After hearing you speak, I feel like I want to go out and start a business!”
A woman in the audience approached me and told me she truly appreciated my talk as it gave her lots of value (yay!). A few more emailed me the day after to thank me for sharing the 3 marketing strategies for websites.
Of course, there are also kiasu people. Like the guy (I won’t name him) who quickly subscribed to our free report just to get the report and then almost instantly, unsubscribed. Come on, didn’t I just mention about having an abundant mindset during my talk? He probably was a web designer who was dying to know what was in our free report.
Well, it doesn’t matter. We’ve had competitors coming for our Tech Tuesdays but so what? Many try to copy us (even our website package rates) but many don’t know the strategy behind what we do so they can copy as much as they like and usually end up failing badly. Don’t copy someone else’s tactic if you don’t know what the strategy is – you’d just burn yourself!
Anyway, back to my talk. It was so casual that I was barefoot! The audience were practically lolling on the bean bags. I worked really hard at my slides and I had rehearsed over and over (I was repeating the stories over and over while I drove and bathed) so I knew the stories by heart. I knew what my key takeaways were and I knew what I wanted my audience to do.
I was a little bit nervous at the beginning but as I started, my butterflies flew right off. I knew I was on the right track when the audience smiled and nodded right back at me. Nothing is as affirming as your audience supporting you through your talk and giving you verbal and non-verbal clues that you’re doing well. In fact, I started to really enjoy the talk.
I attribute it to knowing my materials, my stories and my key takeaways. Of course, I also had my moments after that I wished I did better (was I too verbose at some parts? Did I articulate my words properly? Did I have a twang?).
I did appreciate the fact that I read Michael Port’s book Steal the Show and the tips and strategies he outlined was invaluable in helping me put my talk together especially the part on rehearsals. I also did something new this time – as the host read my biodata, I showed a series of slides too. Port says that visuals help the audience remember what was read out about you. To me, it worked beautifully because the slides definitely caught people’s attention. These were some of the improvements I made to my talk. I think each little thing helps. As Port says, a talk is a performance. You have to perform. You have to ensure your message gets conveyed.
A lot of people, especially entrepreneurs shy away from public limelight and public speaking opportunities. I’m not interested in public speaking for the sake of putting myself out there; I am more interested in the message I’m sharing as well as the multiple ways I can improve myself.
Anyway, if you’d like to learn more about why I speak, catch the next blog post when I write about some of the core benefits of speaking and putting oneself out there.
Want More Value?
If you’d like the PDF summary of the talk I presented at WebCamp Penang, do email me (krista [at] redboxstudio [dot] com) and I will send it along to you.
The 4-page PDF is written in such a way that even if you didn’t attend my talk, you’d understand what it was all about. I kept the notes brief because I know you’re busy and don’t have time to read a long PDF. I like being succinct whenever I can.