Today is Friday, 29 November and it is about 10 o’clock at night. I just got back on the 7 o’clock train from Liverpool Street having spent a day in London.
Today was a day that many people would have greatly feared at the been in my shoes.
Today was the day when I stood in front of a room full of people and spoke to them about LinkedIn.
A room full of strangers with the exception of one person my good friend, Cole Stevens.
A few months ago I did a podcast with the broadcaster and ex Norwich City footballer Paul McVeigh. It was a fascinating conversation in which Paul spoke of overcoming the fear of public speaking. So much so that he compered a stage of sports celebrities in front of some 40,000 people in Hyde Park, as part of a London 2012 Fan Park event.
Okay so my little speech in front of the Great British business show in London’s Olympia was nothing when compared to that, but you still can have some levels of anxiety about potentially making a fool of yourself. (In front of ten people, let alone 40,000!)
I guess the truth of it was that I had some decent material that I reckoned interesting to others, and some good anecdotal stories that I hoped would get a chuckle. It was pretty much the way it turned out.
A couple of things helped. For one, I had done this before and, therefore, had a good idea of what it was like to stand up in front of people and have to spark up. As a follow-on from that, I wasn’t phased or anxious in preparation. The subject is something I like, something I feel strongly about. It’s something I’ve been talking about consistently with other people over the last few months. Really, it was just a matter of pulling the threads together and putting it into a formatted order that made sense when delivered to a group.
The real point of this exercise came at the end of the talk.
It is really gratifying when people come up to chat at the end of the talk and want to engage further. It happened today with a number of people genuinely interested in the information I had shared and wanting to understand more. I handed out a load of cards at the time and will be really pleased if those people take up my offer and give me a call.
Since working online I have followed the belief that sharing of information freely and openly is the way ahead. Today was one of those days when without expectation or call to do so, people felt strongly enough to give some positive feedback on that free sharing. Whether it leads to some business or not, time will tell. The fact is I know that today had great value and I look forward to doing it again someday soon.
Have a great week!