Think Visibility September 2009

September 13th, 2009 § 7 Comments

Wow! Just got back from the most hectic/fun/crazy weekend – I’m sat here with my first cup of tea in 48 hours still buzzing from what’s been an amazing Think Visibility conference.

First I want to say hello to everyone I met this weekend – speakers Yoast, Judith Lewis, Fiona Thomson and Rob Manuel – all of whom I’d never met before but are completely awesome/nice and made me feel really welcome as a new speaker.

Also all the attendees I chatted to – I’m missing loads of names and I know I missed a few people at the conference but Dan, Carla, Anthony, Ben, Scott – great to meet you all for the first time. Steven, James, Joanna great to meet you for a second time! Karyn, Elaine & Dave, Al, Simon, Gaj – always a pleasure to see you :) And of course Dom who made the whole thing possible.

At the last Think Visibility the best thing about the conference for me wasn’t just the talks, but the time given over to chatting before and afterwards. This time as a speaker I got to hang out with all the other speakers, which made the whole experience really different in a good way. Some speakers were obviously conference veterans, and some were first-time speakers just like me.

Without exception though everyone was encouraging and helpful and supportive so I’d like to say thanks to everyone who made me feel a bit more confident about getting up in front of a room full of people :)

My talk was on ‘How to Win at the Content Network” – so it was aimed at Adwords advertisers who maybe haven’t used the content network before or who wanted a few tips on how to get the most out of it. I was aware that most speakers talk about SEO, or about blogging, and with most of the attendees being quite experienced anyway I wanted to pick a topic that SEO folk or website owners generally don’t know a lot about.

I was pretty nervous all day waiting for my time to talk – being up on a stage was pretty cool and I think I got through it okay! My slides looked good and I got a few nice comments about my talk being useful and having things in it that people could go away and implement themselves :)

There were a few things I’d do differently:

- Have a microphone. It was a really big room and I know I talk quietly – I tried to talk loud but it’s hard to make sure you talk loud when you’re trying to remember what to say ;) Plus it’s hard on the voice – if I ever present again I’m going to ask for a microphone.

- Have clearer notes. I hand-wrote loads of notes for my talk in a little notebook. By the time I’d started talking though they just went out the window and I know I missed a couple of things out I’d like to have included. I felt like I should keep talking instead of stopping to find where I was in my notes, but I think I wouldn’t be afraid to refer to notes a lot more next time.

- Have a different laptop setup. This is related to the last point – my laptop was hooked up to the big screen, so my presentation slides showed on the big screen behind me. Unfortunately this meant my laptop screen was BLANK so I didn’t know what was coming next. Coupled with a lack of notes I had to turn round a bit to see what was on the screen. Yoast said that KeyNote on Macs lets you see the slide you’re on, your next slide and your notes, so maybe I should use a Mac from now on!

Anyway, I’m really really pleased I did it – I’ve said before it’s way outside my comfort zone but now I know it’s not so bad, and if I ever present again I know how I’d do it better.

Thanks to everyone who came to see my talk – I hope you found it useful and liked the pictures of cats.

I’m about to post my slides up on here….so check back soon!

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