Was not this one. Luckily I didn’t publicly announce my retirement. This was meant to be my last Blog Awards but a few things didn’t go the way I wanted them to go on the night so the beatings will continue til the morale improves and I’m happy with a Blog Awards. Maybe I’ll get it right the 6th time or the 7th.
Notes like the below make it all worth it though:
Please do blog and email and give thanks to the organisers. It takes considerable effort to run this and year on year less thank you emails are sent while complaint emails go up. It makes a difference between the organisers enjoying doing this or seeing it as a chore.
Thanks to Nathalie for the photo. Thanks to Jim Caroll and Rick O’Shea for positive messages about running events.
If you’re a progressive hotel you’ll be emailing and offering your hotel facilities at a deep discount. 300 good spending bloggers, most will stay in the hotel if it’s of good value and many will take lots of pics of the place too. The Blog Awards is not going to be in Cork, Dublin or Galway next year. So loads of choices.
Meanwhile for the next six weeks RTÉ is asking the public to put forward their ideas and suggestions for how it might improve its services and meet the needs of its audience better. Make your voice heard. Do a Liveline on Liveline!
I’m doing a training course with PFH towards the end of April, €150 for the day, course max is 15. It’s fairly practical in nature. A few people have been on to me about doing a public course in Cork, so here you are. You better book it now! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or ring Catherine 021 230-3010 or Sally 021 230-3040
Outline for Social Media for Business
What is social media?
What are the current and upcoming trends in online marketing/social media
LinkedIn for business
The benefits of using LinkedIn for business
Making a LinkedIn profile that gets you and you business noticed
Seeking out leads and partners with LinkedIn
Building your reputation through sharing your expertise in LinkedIn Discussions
Facebook for business
Why is Facebook relevant to my business?
How businesses use Facebook to get custom and build reputation
Facebook Pages for business
Using Facebook’s analytics tools to better cater to your customers
Facebook Ads – Highly targeted inexpensive ads bring quality customers
Twitter for business
What is Twitter and why should a business use it?
How to interact on Twitter with consumers and other businesses
How adding value on Twitter creates strong word of mouth
Developing a social media/online marketing plan
How to figure out objectives in social media
How to measure your campaigns and see do they align with your objectives
(Disclaimer: I’ve done work for Innovator and IntertradeIreland in the past)
Innovator are doing a few workshops on “Demand Led Innovation” around the country in the next few weeks.
Some details here.
This practical two day workshop using design thinking principles will guide you on looking at your company and markets in new ways and show you exercises on how to transform your business, allowing you to generate new revenue models for existing and new markets.
Now they’ll be using the Civil Security sector (Travel security) as the industry used to develop new business ideas but the principles work for all industries. I’ve chatted to them about this and already have come up with some ideas around training and communications. Think about all the ways you can make it easier to get through airport security and less stressful, from training security staff to be more efficient and polite, to making signs that take the guesswork out of things, to iPhone Apps and even Twitter apps to pre-prep those who’ll be flying out. There’s a pretty big market for that. A lot of the time too it just iterating an existing product for a new customer or maket type.
The night before last I watched a documentary about Jerry Seinfeld called Comedian. I think it was via a recommendation from Garr Reynolds that I bought it. It’s the story of how Jerry Seinfeld decides to go back and gig as a comedian after putting together all new material. Comedians, it seems, always have a stock of trusted material that they can use. His peers are surprised and shocked that he’ll be using just new material.
We go with Jerry as he goes back to basics, does 5 min stands, perfects them, goes a bit longer, gets to 20 minutes eventually and eventually goes for longer and longer stints. We see him bomb and stall, we see him hold his notes in his hand and use them as crib sheets. We see comedians stress with animation that you never EVER start with new material. Jerry works his ass off as he builds and builds and runs from club to club eventually doing as many gigs as he can in one night. His jokes change and get better over time, though they really are the same punchline, the delivery changes based on a live crowd.
All this reminds me of talks I do and how every talk is a chance to perfect your presentation, throw in something small and new, how different crowds will interact differently and you have to be ready for it all. I’ve gone from giving a talk in front of 600 people, to doing one in front of 11 the next day, to a few dozen the next. Each and every talk is worthwhile and makes the next one better. I accept as many offers as I can to do talks, paid and free if my schedule can fit with them.
I used to be an introvert, severely shy, never wanting to put my head and body into the public glare. I can now, without much butterflies stand in front of a crowd with or without notes or even prep and feel confident enough. That wasn’t the case when I started doing this though. Over time I learned what works with crowds, what doesn’t, when to move on from a point or dig deeper, all based on the feel of a crowd. It rang home when watching Seinfeld making himself better by just getting out there and doing it.
I’ve chatted to some people about public talking before and I guess my advice is, get up and speak. Do what Jerry does, 5 minutes, then 10 minutes and many times until you get that feel for the crowd. If it makes you feel better, you will suck the first few times but you will get better each time too. So why not bang through those first few times? The sooner you do them… Toastmasters and those clubs are great too. But. Comedians don’t perform for comedians, they need real crowds and so do you. Those clubs are good starts but you want out in the real public. The ratio too of time speaking to the crowd directly should be way way higher than looking at your notes or slides. How else can you get the feel of a crowd?
With my line of work though, the gold for me is questions, I absolutely, positively love it when people ask questions. I’m pretty disappointed if none are asked as I feel I’ve not made the crowd comfortable enough to ask or haven’t made their brains jump enough to shoot up a hand. While many questions will be repeated per talk, you’ll always get new ones, these are proper challenges, can you answer them on your feet? Will they make you think and re-evaluate a viewpoint? Hopefully.
And yes, smaller crowds, I try out new material or sometimes I’ll write something that’s been on my mind for a while and stick it on some paper 10 minutes beforehand and see how I go. Did that for the Press Ombudsman talk. For Open Coffee Galway, I decided (5 mins beforehand) to talk about how I do business, I didn’t know where I was going to end up with that talk but it was fun. Hope the crowd didn’t mind the experiment.
You have to get up and speak, you have to realise that it’s about iterating what you do. Do the circuits. The documentary shows super comedian Jerry go from being terrified in front of a small crowd to swaggering a few months later in front of a massive crowd and feeling on control. Lastly, be absolutely grateful to the crowd, be it two people or two hundred, if they’re paying or not, they’re your training partner really, without them you’re a gym bunny taking on a world boxing champion.