“I’m a newbie presenter, so I’m holding my notecards for security – please don’t judge me!”
That’s what I said after addressing the crowd at the #SMSSummit NYC on June 11th. And it was true! It was the first time I’ve ever presented at a social media event, and I can’t tell you how exciting it was to do so.
But leading up to the event was hectic – there were MULTIPLE issues.
I changed the keynote topic 2 weeks before the summit because the original didn’t resonate with the work I’ve done with social media. And I wanted to speak about something I am passionate about.
It was a mad rush to write a 30-minute presentation, and as the PowerPoint was sent off to a designer, I thought everything would be okay. But several days later, she sent me an invoice and no PPT. Then she disappeared.
I’ve haven’t put a PPT together since college, and back then it was merely using a template. I wanted my PPT to look beautiful – to stand out, so I was willing to pay someone several hundred dollars to make it spectacular. But instead, two days before I was scheduled to leave, I was designing a presentation in Keynote.
Then once it was complete, it wouldn’t export correctly. All the hard work I’d done to create it was somehow lost in the exporting process – colors, overlays, photos. But the Summit organizers were kind enough to settle for a PDF and I promised to bring my laptop on presentation day.
I left the next morning to fly up to NYC and arrived to a dirty AirBnb. But by then, I could only laugh. In fact, I had starting laughing when my designer disappeared.
It’s incredible how things start to fall apart when we are on the brink of pushing our limits and doing something awesome for our career or life. So I laughed in the face of mess after mess because there wasn’t ANYthing that was going to prevent me from taking on this new challenge.
And EVERYTHING went extremely well once presentation day arrived!
The morning panel with Michele Weisman, Emily Butler, Mindy Stockfield, and I went extremely well. We spoke about “Becoming a Storyteller – The Key Elements to Creating & Writing Powerful Stories” and could’ve stayed on stage talking all day.
It was wonderful to get a feel for what it felt like to be on stage before actually ascending it myself. I was nervous, but more focused on making sure my presentation was interesting and valuable.
And when the time came, I couldn’t have asked for a better first presentation.
Below are some photos from the event, my recorded presentation in two parts (it was filmed with my iPhone, but will hopefully have some professional footage soon), and the presentation slides.
My advice is, if you think public speaking will help your career or business, but you’re shy or concerned about how it will go – PUSH yourself to do it. What an incredible experience!!!
A photo of the Delegate dinner I cohosted with Ryan Lewis of Bonfire. Speakers could sign up to host dinners and hang out with Summit attendees to discuss certain subjects surrounding social media marketing. We had a packed dinner of 10 and it was such a blast to get to know the attendees in a more intimate setting.
A fun picture of me holding the sign for the dinner as we were gathering everyone together to go eat at The Marshall. Yummy food!
I woke up exhausted from the previous day, but excited to present!
The panel discussion with (R-L) Michele Weisman (moderator), Mindy Stockfield, Emily Butler, and I. Such a fantastic experience discussing storytelling with these ladies.
Emily Butler and I became fast friends. We met the week before on LinkedIn, but kept in touch and she was kind enough to stay throughout the day and support me during my presentation. She kept me laughing and my mind off presenting – couldn’t have asked for anything better!
The only photo I have of me presenting. The quality isn’t so fabulous, but I was having a great time!
When the day was complete, I celebrated by having a LOT of fresh oysters and a glass of wine with my friend, Josh Davis. We met while I was attending The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Here’s the recorded presentation:
And the Slideshare! Can also be viewed HERE.