The Dark Art of Public speaking…

The Dark Art of Public speaking…

 

Soon I will be standing at a podium in Hall 3 of the The Great British Business Show at the Excel exhibition centre in London talking about LinkedIn.

With around about an hour and five minutes to go before taking the stage, I can feel that slightly tight feeling of fear. Fear of messing it up or fear of making a fool of yourself.

It shouldn’t happen, probably won’t happen, but you cant help thinking about it.

A couple of pints of Carlsberg and the creation of a blog post go some way to calming those feelings of trepidation.

 

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A beer and a blog post to calm the nerves!

So why do it?

Paul McVeigh told me in a podcast that some people would prefer death than stand and talk in front of a crowd. I have done it a few times, but you never lose the prematch feeling. Paul was very fearful and made a point of overcoming that fear. So much so that he compared the Hyde Park Fan Park during the London Olympics in 2012 in front of 40,000 people.

 

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Makes my gig today seem piddling by comparison!

This is why.

The answer to that is really simple. It is very much a promotional tool for the business. By standing there and sharing knowledge, there comes a gain of credibility and of trust with those people you engage with. I impart good, useful information with absolutely no expectation of any kind of reciprocity.

The truth is that people are kind and generous and they do return to you in volume. The last time I did this for the same show( at a different venue) I made several connections that last to this day.

Another key factor is it is a great way to meet new people and improve my own network. I am not forcing anyone to come, they are choosing to do so. This means in simple terms that they have an interest in LinkedIn and want to make the best out of it. It is simply my job to let that happen. I do that, they like me and remember me for doing a good job.

Hopefully in a few months time if they have some problem that might need solving, then they will look me up on LinkedIn and ask me to help out.

You never know. Stranger things do happen and indeed have!

And so I come back to this post at 21:30 and all is done.

I met some great people including Jan Thomas from Prsym, the event organisers, and a number of people after the talk. The card I have in my hand is that of Katherine Barton, who was kind enough to come up and have a chat at the end. Social stuff included the retweet below from the show and thanks to Dean Howard of Telefonica for the kind words on LinkedIn.

 

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Jan Thomas Twitter pic from the Great British Business show today

It wasn’t So Bad!! Hopefully do it again in November.

 

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Talking For England, The Joys of Public Speaking

Talking For England, The Joys of Public Speaking

 

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.

 

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A full House at the Great British Business Show

 

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.

 

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The Show listing

 

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.

 

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Good things come to those who share

 

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!

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