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I don’t know.. and that’s OK.

April 16, 2012

I have worked in traditional PR in http://www.ohcpr.ie (new fantabulous website under construction as I type but this will do for the moment!) for 14, yes, 14 years now and really have enjoyed my job throughout that time. I can say however that I am delighted with the emergence of social media as it has made me relearn my trade and think in a different way about how best to service my clients.

As a result of my interest in all things ‘social media’ I found myself presenting to a class of people on the subject a few weeks ago. Just before that I attended the http://www.socialmedia-forum.com/. I was in my hotel bar looking for a glass to have a sneaky (cheap) glass of shop bought wine in my room only to spot two ‘superstars’ of the social media world, Scott Monty, Global Head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company http://www.scottmonty.com/ and Chris Brogan http://www.chrisbrogan.com/enjoying a quiet drink together.

Chris Brogan being interviewed by Channel 4 (Instagram pic by me)

Chris Brogan being interviewed by Channel 4 (Instagram pic by me)

I had bumped into Chris Brogan in the supermarket, buying afore mentioned wine, and introduced myself to him so when he saw me asking for the glass he asked me to join them! It was such a great opportunity so I jumped at it but not before I gave them a clear ‘get-outta-jail’ offer that I would leave them be if they were talking business!

Hearing them both speak at the Social Media World Forum 2012 and having this amazing one-on-one opportunity only fed my enthusiasm for the subject and definitely helped in my preparation for the presentation I was going to have to give.

I prepared well and was really looking forward to it and then, as I stood in front of the class, it dawned on me that I have never actually taught anyone in this way. Of course I have presented in pitches a million times but I’ve never actually taught anyone.

I don’t get nervous at times like this. Apparently this is rare, or so I’ve been told by a few people. Speaking in public, on TV or radio doesn’t faze me at all and it started me thinking why does this not faze me?

After chatting with a few people I came to the conclusion that the reason that I am so comfortable with speaking in public is that I’m not afraid to say “I don’t know”. I accept that it is not possible that I have all the answers and this really does take a lot of pressure off me in these instances.

I also have the gift of the gab! I can talk with enthusiasm and passion about pretty much anything! I find once you are passionate about what you are presenting or talking about it automatically engages your audience.

I am also a ‘jump in with two feet and think about it later’ kinda person! A lot of the time I will be doing an interview, presenting or, using last weeks example, teaching, and bang smack in the middle of it, it will dawn on me that I actually have an audience!

So, the bottom line is that I really enjoyed it. I loved the interaction with the class and the flow of questions, of which some I couldn’t answer there and then but I took notes and got the answers to everyone within 24 hours.

Do you have any great presentation tips?

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6 Comments
  1. Tips? Yes. When you are presenting – make sure not to lose your train of thou…

  2. When people are looking to learn from you, no matter how little you think you know, it’s important to have the self-confidence that you’re the most authoritative person in the room on that topic. And they’ll like you if they can relate to the humanity that you bring to your presentation – which means that “I don’t know” and “oops” are perfectly acceptable.

    It was a pleasure meeting you and learning about your fascination with Instagram!

    • Hi Scott!

      Thanks for the reply! So true.. As long as you’re approachable it’s half the battle! I could talk about Instagram all day long!

      Great to meet you too!

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