panel2 With the biggest content marketing convention of the year just around the corner (September 9th), Ebyline took the opportunity to chat with 5 http://contentmarketingworld.com/Content Marketing World 2013 speakers about the power of public speaking. Our panel of experts were asked … "/>

Panel Interview: CMWorld 2013 And The Power Of Public Speaking

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With the biggest content marketing convention of the year just around the corner (September 9th), Ebyline took the opportunity to chat with 5 Content Marketing World 2013 speakers about the power of public speaking. Our panel of experts were asked 5 questions about the value of public speaking events, and even what they get out of hearing someone speak when they’re in the audience. Before we see what they have to say, let’s meet the panel:

Jay Baer -

Jay is the founder and president of Convince and Convert, a leading content marketing consulting company. He has extensive experience as a keynote speaker. For those not attending CMWorld, check out other opportunities to see him speak. He is also the New York Times author of Youtility.

Check out Jay’s Answers

 

Jonathan Mildenhall -

Jonathan is the VP of Global Advertising Strategy at Coca Cola, a company which – let’s face it – needs no introductions. But you might be surprised to learn that Coca Cola was given the Creative Marketer of the Year award this year at Cannes. Jonathan speaks all over the country. You might catch him tweeting about his next project or announcing on his website. Want to see what you’ve been missing? Check out Jonathan’s keynote at Cannes.

Check out Jonathan’s Answers

 

Amanda Maksymiw -

Amanda heads up the content marketing efforts of Lattice Engines, an award winning Big Data services company. Amanda is not only a frequent speaker, but also a frequent attendee of conferences nationwide. Last year she received the Content Marketing Tactician of the Year award. Check out her twitter for updates on her next speaking engagement.

Check out Amanda’s Answers

 

Lauren Moler –

Lauren is the content strategist and information architect of National Instruments, an ironically international high-tech B2B company. Because she frequently works with leaders in science and engineering, Lauren is accustomed to speaking about marketing with tech specialists – a tough crowd. CMWorld will be her first time speaking with the content marketing community. Check out her twitter to see what she’s up to after the big day.

Check out Lauren’s Answers

 

Adele Revella -

Adele is the founder of Buyer Persona Institute, where she shares her expertise through marketing workshops. Adele has extensive speaking experience worldwide. Besides her CMWorld featured speech, find out more opportunities to hear Adele speak. She is also the author of two ebooks: For Compelling Content, Let Your Buyer’s Be Your Guide, and The Buyer Persona Manifesto, both of which can be read here.

Check out Adele’s Answers


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Jay Baer

jay final

What is your experience with public speaking and what was the first presentation you took as seriously as the ones you do now?

I’ve been speaking off and on for nearly 20 years. I’ve been doing it seriously for about four years. First “real” presentation I remember was to the Phoenix Advertising Club in 1994, I believe. But now, speaking is a significant part of my company overall, so it’s a craft that I’m spending more and more time trying to perfect and pass down that skill to freelance writers.

 

How often do you make a decision to see a speaker without looking at the topic? How do you weigh the values of topic and persona?

Good question. Speakers that I “know” from their online persona or their books, etc. I’ll try to go see them. Otherwise, I’ll select speakers based on topic.

 

In your experience, is there a noticeable difference in style and content between a recorded speech and an unrecorded speech? What is your preferred method of summarizing your work?

I definitely prefer a live audience. Today, when I’m talking a lot about Youtility, I often use videos in the live presentation. You can’t really do that in Webinars, so it loses a bit in the translation. Also, it’s nice to be able to see the audience, and play off of them.

 

What level of audience interaction do you find most appropriate and helpful to the presentation as a whole? How would you manage the format of your presentation to optimize for the group?

Because I’m much more of a keynote speaker now than a breakout speaker, I don’t do a lot of interaction other then QA at the end. The more detailed the presentation, the more interaction you should bake into it.

 

I’ve heard two general ways of looking at the value of a public speaking event. One value is the addition of new knowledge that can’t be found in the speaker’s print work that is said on the fly. The other is the new explanation of a topic that will be necessarily tailored to fit the time period. Which of these values do you find to be more useful?

It’s probably a bit of both. Hearing me talk about Youtility is different (and more impactful) than reading the book. At the same time, there are lots of new examples in the live presentation that aren’t in the book. And I also always try to include examples from people in the room. Makes it much more relevant.

 

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Jonathan Mildenhall

jon final

What is your experience with public speaking and what was the first presentation you took as seriously as the ones you do now?

Public speaking used to make me feel physically sick. I didn’t like it at all. I found it really difficult to get myself in the moment and so I used to be a really awful, stilted formal presenter. This made for a dull and boring audience experience. Still, you can’t have a successful career in advertising without cracking the public speaking code so I worked really hard at it. I taught myself. I filmed myself. I’d present at home to my partner. I’d present to my team. I make a presentation opportunity out of everything. And, slowly, I got better. Now I love public speaking and creating deep and meaningful connections with my audience.

 

How often do you make a decision to see a speaker without looking at the topic? How do you weigh the values of topic and persona?

I love hearing bright and creative people speaking about bright and creative issues. In Cannes for example Dame Vivienne Westwood spoke about the importance of human story and personal context. She was amazing. That said, I’d go and listen to her speak about any topic because I’m sure she has important views on pretty much everything. Still, there are not that many Dame Viviennes so my advice is choose the topic carefully and find out who are the masters of that topic and then seek them out online first so you know what to expect.

 

In your experience, is there a noticeable difference in style and content between a recorded speech and an unrecorded speech? What is your preferred method of summarizing your work?

I prefer to really know my content and then present in a very informal fashion. That way I can create good energy and give the audience a unique experience. I’m not good with pre-recorded content.

 

What level of audience interaction do you find most appropriate and helpful to the presentation as a whole? How would you manage the format of your presentation to optimize for the group?

I love it when the audience responds authentically. If they laugh with you it feels brilliant. If they applaud the work it feels amazing. If they challenge your opinions through Q&A you learn. And if they send you feedback or follow up (good and bad) on a twitter post then that’s of huge value too. I’m a big believer in feedback. We all get better as a result of feedback.

 

I’ve heard two general ways of looking at the value of a public speaking event. One value is the addition of new knowledge that can’t be found in the speaker’s print work that is said on the fly. The other is the new explanation of a topic that will be necessarily tailored to fit the time period. Which of these values do you find to be more useful?

Both are really valuable. But I find the most value comes from experiencing the emotions that a talented speaker uses to engage the audience. You can read all you like about a speaker’s views or body of work but it’s only through being there, being in the moment with a speaker, that deep understanding about their passion points is created.

 

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Amanda Maksymiw

amanda final

What is your experience with public speaking and what was the first presentation you took as seriously as the ones you do now?

I’ve spoken at several events and I attend about five to seven conferences per year. One presentation from a few years ago still stands out as one of the best live talks I have seen. Like many, I am mostly drawn to the story. This talk was superb. The speaker was Aron Ralston, the hiker who amputated his own arm after getting trapped in a canyon in southeastern Utah. He was an excellent storyteller and his talk was extremely compelling.

 

How often do you make a decision to see a speaker without looking at the topic? How do you weigh the values of topic and persona?

There have been several occasions when I have sought out sessions at events because so and so is speaking. Period. It could be someone really well known who I may never have a chance to see speak live again or it could be someone who I just respect. Sometimes it is all about the draw of having an interesting person speak, rather than sinking in to the topic. In general, I will often review the event agendas to identify which speakers I am interested in seeing and which topics are the most relevant to my day-to-day responsibilities.

 

In your experience, is there a noticeable difference in style and content between a recorded speech and an unrecorded speech? What is your preferred method of summarizing your work?

Unrecorded content in general feels more authentic to me, however recording your speech and reviewing it prior to the live event is a great way to help you prepare.

 

What level of audience interaction do you find most appropriate and helpful to the presentation as a whole? How would you manage the format of your presentation to optimize for the group?

It really depends on the setting. If you are presenting to a group of hundreds, having audience interaction is very difficult. You could utilize polling technology or encourage the audience to clap when they agree and so forth, but beyond that, the size of the group is too intimidating and distracting. If you are presenting to a much smaller group, there could be a great deal of interaction with the audience. To manage for this, I would recommend brainstorming different questions that you can pose to the crowd and planning out when those breaks would roughly happen.

 

I’ve heard two general ways of looking at the value of a public speaking event. One value is the addition of new knowledge that can’t be found in the speaker’s print work that is said on the fly. The other is the new explanation of a topic that will be necessarily tailored to fit the time period. Which of these values do you find to be more useful?

I personally find new ideas and new knowledge to be the most interesting content for a speaking event. While this isn’t always the case, it is the new perspective that is the most valuable to me.

 

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Lauren Moler

lauren final

What is your experience with public speaking and what was the first presentation you took as seriously as the ones you do now?

A few years ago, I gave a session on Search Engine Optimization basics for our business partners who are mostly engineers. I had never spoken to a large group professionally prior to that event, and I definitely put extra care into that talk. Content Marketing World will be the first time that I am presenting to my peers and people that do the same type of work I do. I’m very excited!

 

How often do you make a decision to see a speaker without looking at the topic? How do you weigh the values of topic and persona?

Rarely. There are certainly a few individuals whose work I respect immensely, and I will see them no matter the topic. I focus more on topic because I want my work to be affected by the presentation. If I know that it relates to me or my company, the likelihood of that happening is greater.

 

In your experience, is there a noticeable difference in style and content between a recorded speech and an unrecorded speech? What is your preferred method of summarizing your work?

The biggest difference is often in the interaction with the audience. I prefer live sessions because I can talk with the audience and immediately see their impressions and interpretations.

 

What level of audience interaction do you find most appropriate and helpful to the presentation as a whole? How would you manage the format of your presentation to optimize for the group?

I love questions, so a lot of interaction is great! They show me that the audience is trying to take what I’ve said and apply it to their job, which is exactly what I’m hoping to accomplish. I’ll be emphasizing in my upcoming talk that I want to give people practical tools for solving complex content problems. I want you to use this stuff!

That being said, I know not everyone is going to jump up and ask me questions right away in a group that big. I tailor it to the large group by giving my contact information for people to follow up with me directly afterwards. That way, as you’re really starting to get into the muck of making these things work, you have a way to engage with me again.

 

I’ve heard two general ways of looking at the value of a public speaking event. One value is the addition of new knowledge that can’t be found in the speaker’s print work that is said on the fly. The other is the new explanation of a topic that will be necessarily tailored to fit the time period. Which of these values do you find to be more useful?

Do I have to choose? They’re both useful! I often find I don’t know if a talk will be one way or another until after I’ve sat through it. If I had to pick, I would probably say additional knowledge that isn’t in their print work. I’m a visual learner, so sometimes having someone talk me through their work with a picture of it right next to them can make all the difference.

 

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Adele Revella

adele final

What is your experience with public speaking and what was the first presentation you took as seriously as the ones you do now?

I was 26 when I heard a conference speaker who just blew me away. I was always (and still am) an avid reader, but that was the moment when I realized that books couldn’t begin to measure up to the impact of a great presentation. I knew that I wanted to be on that stage someday.

It was many years before I began to do much public speaking, but I have always had that experience in mind as I prep for any presentation. As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t done my job unless my presentation has profoundly impacted the attendees, helping them to think in an entirely new way about their potential to make a difference.

 

How often do you make a decision to see a speaker without looking at the topic? How do you weigh the values of topic and persona?

I generally don’t know anything about the speaker when I make the decision to attend, so the topic is critical. Two or three minutes after the session begins, however, I know whether the speaker is going to grab me or if I’d rather be somewhere else. It’s sad, because I’m sure I’ve missed out on some useful information, but it is painful to be in a room when the speaker isn’t truly present and engaged.

 

In your experience, is there a noticeable difference in style and content between a recorded speech and an unrecorded speech? What is your preferred method of summarizing your work?

A live audience is entirely different because it feels like a 2-way conversation. People’s reactions are as obvious to me as a spoken reaction in a typical conversation. So I’m constantly getting feedback and can adjust the pace and content accordingly.

If the session is recorded, I have to take all of my cues from the session organizers, relying solely on their understanding of what’s important to attendees.

Online presentations are often live, and I’ve adapted so that I am still able to engage with people throughout the event. These are never quite as much fun as a live conference, but they are far better than a recorded conversation.

 

What level of audience interaction do you find most appropriate and helpful to the presentation as a whole? How would you manage the format of your presentation to optimize for the group?

I do something in the first few minutes that will trigger a reaction from the audience. I’ve learned that I’m not that good at jokes, so I don’t attempt them. Part of being a good speaker is learning your own strengths and playing to those.

So I usually build a rhetorical question into the first few minutes, asking something that will get people thinking without requiring an actual response. And then I’ll give them an answer to the question based on my own experience.

As the session progresses, I like to use humor and will occasionally ask a question that does encourage short responses. With small groups I can turn these interactions into a real conversation, which I really enjoy. But large audiences require me to keep the interactions quick and relevant to the entire room.

 

I’ve heard two general ways of looking at the value of a public speaking event. One value is the addition of new knowledge that can’t be found in the speaker’s print work that is said on the fly. The other is the new explanation of a topic that will be necessarily tailored to fit the time period. Which of these values do you find to be more useful?

I see the value of public speaking a bit differently. With print work it’s hard to get a feel for the person behind the idea, and that’s so important to me. I find it easier to appreciate and understand the content once I know a bit more about the author’s enthusiasm for it.

I also expect a speaker to tailor the information so that I hear the part that is most relevant to me. Personally, I never deliver the same presentation twice. I always have a look at the audience and event focus before I choose the content. It’s true that my talks consistently focus on buyer personas, but I want to make sure that my audience leaves the presentation feeling inspired to apply this idea to their own jobs.

As a wise person once told me, people won’t remember what you say, but they will remember how you made them feel.

 

 

 

About Allen Narcisse

Allen is co-founder of Ebyline, a software company that makes quality content easy for publishers and brands. Follow Allen on Twitter.

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