public speaking can be pretty nerve-racking.
i've presented a 20 minute powerpoint on twitter 101 at my all-staff meeting at work.
i've spoken for 2.5 hours (i was scheduled for only an hour) on social media 101 to a roomful of strangers when an old teacher of mine asked me to guest speak at one of her fundraising marketing classes.
and this morning i got to present vancouver opera as a case study to my opera america peers.
OpAm's other social media speakers. left to right: marc van bree, me, margo drakos, ceci dadisman
i could've been really wracked with jitters, as i had to do my presentation before i even had the opportunity to meet the fine folks, my counterparts at other opera companies, that i have been chatting with online for the last little while. so i was faced with a full room of marketing/PR people, most of whom i've never met before but know of who i am, as my reputation and work with VO precedes me. AND my director of marketing sitting in.
actually, after the first presenter, marc van bree, was done and we all got a 15 minute break before it was my turn, the nervous energy in me started to bubble up. i had to excuse myself toute de suite from a chat because i was literally jumping up and down on the inside. i went to get something to eat and drink before any sign of cotton mouth could set in.
the thing i'm realizing is that the more times you speak publically, the easier it can get. don't get me wrong, it can still be intimidating. especially as you know that the room is comprised of people at different knowledge and skill sets when it comes to social media and you have to put together a presentation that everyone (hopefully) will get some value out of.
but i'm surrounded by good people at work who have always been super encouraging and supportive. and the best advice i got was just to speak about what i know. and once you put it in that perspective, fears tend to drop away.
the presentation went unbelievably well; better than i could've imagined. people seem to really respond to what we're doing with our social media efforts. and i honestly was floored by the enthusiastic reception and compliments.
here are some of the tweets:
but what we have done with social media could not have been possible if not for the fact that the management are forward thinkers and progressive. today, i heard firsthand of so many opera companies where the management are so resistant to change when it comes to using the media of the times to reach and cultivate the next generation of opera lovers. they remain unconvinced of harnassing the power of social media, even when it's been proven that audiences love to engage in this manner.
this just makes me more thankful that i work for a company where management not only wants us to keep up with the times, but also to lead the way.
i really do have the best job in the world.