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