Tuesday evening, Tim and I presented Notches for the first time in public at the Web2NewYork tech meetup.
I had just flown in from my annual ski vacation, but made it from JFK with enough time to spare. The cab trip in was stressful, but I wasn’t nervous at all going into it the talk.
On the plane ride I put together my final script for the seven minute presentation, and I was pleased at how it turned out. But when it was our turn to present, I didn’t have a good way of keeping my notes, which were digital only, on my laptop in front of me. So when the microphone was passed I suddenly had to wing it and consequently struggled through the first few minutes before I found a more natural groove. Fortunately the reaction we got from the crowd was quite positive and we had a number of really good conversations with folks looking to add reviews to their sites which is exactly what we were hoping to accomplish.
But in the spirit of self-improvement, I made a list of presentation tips for future-Corey.
- Focus 67% of your preparation effort on the opening. I’m very comfortable talking through all kinds of details, but because every audience is different, the introductions have to be custom tailored. Focus on the opening and the rest will flow.
- Even if the event is heavily demo focused, go with slides to get through introductory content. Give the audience some visual clues and use them to ensure you are hitting the points you need to make in the first minutes.
- Figure out a different way to demo mobile tools. Having your partner type something into a phone doesn’t work. Choices are either finding an emulator or maybe even prompting the audience to try something like send a Twitter message.
- As painful as it sounds, practice with a microphone and videotape yourself.