Amman Tech Tuesday (AmmanTT) is a non-profit organization that hosts a monthly event that brings tech industry experts, local technologists, engineers, entrepreneurs, idea-generators, and just about any enthusiast together in a casual setting to meet and learn from each other. AmmanTT’s platform allows people to share their experiences, projects, and ideas with the rest of the tech community.
Although I offer speaking at events as one of my services, supporting non-profit organizations and volunteering my expertise to some educational institutes is one of my favorite interests.
Why did they choose me to speak?
It’s because of my online reputation, period. Today, you don’t need to pay $$$ to get more business or job deals. Social media is for everyone and it’s free. If you build your personal brand and work to maintain it, then someone will speak on your behalf. AmmanTT team chose the premier speakers in Jordan not only based on what they hear, but also what they see.
I selected Reputation 2.0: Manage Your Online Reputation as my topic for many reasons. Today, you have to manage your reputation before someone else does. The target wasn’t just GenY; GenX, baby boomers and even kids were part of my presentation.
The format was interesting.
1. Eight speakers to discuss social media challenges (5 minutes each) 2. Interaction with the audience for speakers (15 minutes) 3. Networking break (20 minutes) 4. Speakers will discuss conclusions (3 minutes each) 5. Q&A panel (20 minutes)
I joined Amman International Toastmasters Club, and a few weeks after I joined I was elected as the vice-president of public relations . I branded the club image on the web so I created Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and FriendFeed social accounts.
In my interview with Jörgen Sundberg, he advised job seekers to do public speaking whether at work or at the pub. I agree with Jörgen; Toastmasters helped improve my communication and leadership skills a lot.
My response to that is this: We should work on mastering our lizard brains and give them no chance to control us out of fear. I’m not saying you don’t have be a little afraid of public speaking, but be more prepared and confident. Fear, or the lack of courage, is more responsible for failure in management, and in life, than any other factor. It is always fear that causes people to hold back, to sell themselves short, to settle for far less than they are capable of.
I firmly believe that you can do, you can have, and you can be far more than you now know if only you could eliminate the fear, doubts, and misgivings that consciously and unconsciously interfere with you realizing your full potential.
The event day:
I jumped directly into my topic and started my presentation with: “Do you know how many people get rejected from employment opportunities due to a bad online reputation?”
There was a silence… I proceeded to give few statistics before moving to my challenge for the audience.
I was reading It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be by Paul Arden at the time I was preparing for the event. Page 68 is entitled: “Don’t Give a Speech. Put ON a Show.”Arden said:
“When we attend a lecture, we generally go to see the speaker, not to hear what they have to say. We know what they have to say. That’s why we go to see them. How many speeches have you heard? How many of them can you remember?
“Words, words, words.
“Instead of giving people the benefit of your wisdom (words), try painting them a picture. The more strikingly visual your presentation is, the more people will remember it. And more importantly, they will remember you.”
So I thought: instead of creating a boring text presentation, why don’t I create visual slides that get people attention while they are listening to the stories behind that images? For anyone who is preparing for speaking events, it works
Open air discussion:
That session described my challenge and explained on a flip chart how to manage an online reputation. I got a lot of questions and many people took action after the event, like buying firstnamelastname.com, joining Linkedin, Twitter, etc. or even warning their friends or kids about the important of content sharing on the Internet.
Flexibility: Each speaker got just five minutes to demonstrate his topic to the audience, I find it very difficult to give examples and explain the consequences just in five minutes, but AmmanTT team was not flexible with me in that issue! I don’t think things can move smoothly in the future if flexibility is not an option in the management process.
Other: It’s a $0 budget event, and they do a lot with the limited resources. I have to say “Bravo!” to everyone who made the event successful.
Speaking events are always a great opportunity for networking with different people. I received invitations to speak at other events, I got business consulting offers, and one of the most important things I gained wass credibility. Influence is power and when you have the power to be the leader in your niche, you get credibility. Credibility is a shortcut to branding yourself and differentiating your personal brand.
There is nothing to hide with my experience. I took a chance, prepared well, and did it. What about you? Do you have a successful speaking experience to share?