I spoke today, at #vidincpro in Sydney with a few of the Reprise and Mediabrands team, and felt that of all of the events that I’ve ever spoken at, that it was certainly not my best outing. I don’t know exactly why, but I acknowledge that it wasn’t as good as it could have been, and I have been mulling it over for most of the day.
I will of course put it down to experience, take what I can from it, but, my five out-takes were:
- If anything can go wrong it will – prepare for all eventualities
- Improve on my storytelling - I struggled tremendously in a (excessively) loud/busy hall to keep focus on my subject matter
- Reconsider The Approach – Talking about the future of digital media is subjective – how to improve this, without resorting to reeling off facts and stats
- YouTube is a juggernaut - the turnout for the YouTube stars was immense – they are a much bigger draw than I expected if I am honest
- Remember this day - Should I run an event again in the future that I saw many things to take out of it for the good
Prepare For All Eventualities
I arrived at Sydney exhibition centre this morning an hour before I was due to talk, after a warning from a collegue that it was likely that there would be no setup for presenter mode on a screen. The audio and video wasn’t set up, and by 9am we had an audience of 5, and looking out through the window around 1000 people queing to get in – some who had been waiting since before I arrived.
At 11pm last night, I went back to the office to print out a copy of my presentation as a just in case should someone else have to drive my powerpoint. I also made written notes, should the situation have arisen where I may have just had to tell the complete story without slides.
Even with all of this preparation, it was circumstances beyond my control that had me starting my presentation over 40 minutes late to an audience who were clearly frustrated by the wider challenges with getting into the venue and the environment where we were seated. I was on the backfoot from the off, however, the audience were very understanding given the circumstances.
Improve My Own Story Telling
I love my subject matter in digital and technology, I am passionate about it on every level – I certainly know that I can communicate this to a wider audience in a better fashion than I have done today, as I felt that I was preaching rather than inspiring because I wasn’t able to elaborate on many of the points that I had included in the presentation due to the constant disruption of train of thought – not a position that I felt good about.
Story telling is the past, present and future of marketing, and on more complex subject matters that we are now talking about with digital, maybe mastering the in-person storytelling may be harder than the digital piece that I am so passionate about.
Storytelling is about creating a hook, and I felt today my hooks missed the mark, as with the disruptions going on around me, even I struggled to maintain focus on the key points that I wanted to make, sometimes wandering around them which I am sure wasn’t easy to digest as a listener.
Any reading matter or thoughts are always appreciated!
Reconsider The Approach
I was presenting at a video conference… could I have done things differently – maybe – I certainly didn’t want to turn up and give people the facts and figures that I see from Google, YouTube and the broader digitial market – my talk would have gone fine, but I probably would have delivered zero incremental value to the audience.
People often attend conferences to get snippets of information, however, I feel that with a broad subject like the future of digital that it needs to be tailored to the audience – something that was almost impossible to glean until I was in the room with them.
I might actually rake over the coals of this whole presentation and re-do it in an entirely different way to our teams internally – I may as well get some value out of the 10+ hours that I put into it.
YouTube Stars and YouTube’s Audience clearly bridged to offline
I was absolutely stunned at the numbers of people who turned out for the event – as were others who I work with including @MrCharlieLeahy who took the below photo.
The numbers of people turning out for specific YouTube stars was also something that took me aback slightly – there was contant chatter on twitter and instagram all day, and the ubiquitous Facebook discussions.
The event clearly had a few teething issues with getting people into the venue, as well as deliniating between the different areas that people could engage with the artists, but, on the whole the sentiment seems to be positive in the whole.
Remember This Day
I have run events before, and I am sure that I will be running them again in the future. Given the nature of this event, the audience attending, and the fact that the discussion was live throughout the day, I am sure that I would approach a number of the logistical factors in a slightly different way. It is and was a live discussion, I would have had a dedicated team engaging with the audience in social, much as we worked with Boom Video to do today.
I am sure that it is easy to say as a by-stander, but having people standing queing is always a recipe for discussion, so I would have considered entertainment for the crowds and some means of getting them engaged while trying to get into the venue
So, I can also do things a lot better, and will go away and re-consider my approach and some of my techniques, as there were things to improve across the board and hopefully I can share a revised version with you in the coming days.
Edits: Spelling and a bit of clearing up