It’s hard to beat an event like Social Slam 2012 to whet your content marketing and social marketing appetite. Great presentations and networking along with lots of smart conversations generate energy and fresh ideas. You probably came away with several ideas if you attended. I could lay out a list of tips and topics covered at the event but think other bloggers will provide that information.
The big take away for me is – great speakers make a conference. Everyone has personal preferences so every speaker won’t resonate with every attendee. But great speakers connect with the audience and there were some real stand outs at Social Slam 2012.
It’s hard to be funny in front of a crowd. But there is a trick that works for almost any speaker. Make fun of yourself. If you are smart with self-deprecating humor, you tie the humor into your overall message. Get people to laugh and then they will listen.
Jon Moss of Moss Media Labs delivered a 10 minute slam about LinkedIn. He started his presentation by explaining that he shares a name with a member of the band Culture Club. Googling Jon Moss did not provide the results he wanted until he developed his LinkedIn profile and that helped fix his search problem. The humor was a hit because the crowd could immediately relate to Jon’s difficulty in getting found.
Enthusiasm is Contagious
Any speaker that is enthusiastic and energized can get a crowd excited. With the right techniques of audience engagement a speaker can really win a crowd over. Masters of this technique go way beyond making eye contact and asking questions. Masters personalize questions and engage a cross-section of the crowd to make every person in the crowd pay attention. Audience members can’t help but think the speaker’s next question might be directed at them.
Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion blog hits the stage like a freaking tornado. No audience member is safe from his engagement techniques. His presentation covering content marketing by blogging was convincing and more importantly fun.
Marcus Sheridan – @TheSalesLion
Thanks everyone here at #SoSlam for being such a dang awesome audience and all your kind words!!!
Patience and Cool
Tom Webster of the Brand Savant blog demonstrated how to overcome an epic technology fail. Tom was educating us all about the importance of viewing data with skepticism until you understand how the data was gathered and analyzed. Then his notebook locked up. Technology problems derail most speakers, but Tom was a consummate professional. Despite the glitch he kept the crowd entertained and left us more informed at the end of his presentation.
Make A Memorable Point
How many presentations have you sat through that you can’t remember the point after a day or two. It helps if the title of the speech or presentation represents the topic that’s covered. Sometimes it’s just hard to remember the point though. It’s not your fault for not remembering, it’s the speaker’s fault. She didn’t make her point well.
Billy Delaney of The Small Business Compass gave a 10 minute speech titled “The Spirituality of Social Media”. Billy didn’t use slides. He used sound speaking skills to make a point.
I bet everyone in the room retained his point. “People beg for love and earn respect.” This is transferable to companies. You have to love your customers to earn their respect.
Maybe the most important lesson of all happened before, between, and after the formal speeches were done. Every time I saw Mark Schaefer of Schaefer Marketing Solutions he was ceaselessly giving credit and heaping praise on everyone else that was involved in the Social Slam event. Sincerely showing gratitude might be the greatest speaking skill of all.