Tuesday, 7 August was one of my best days as a LinkedIn Coach and Strategist. I talked about LinkedIn for the whole day sharing insights with Executives, Business Schools, Academics and Business students.. What was the occasion? It was the SABSA Business School Expo at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was attending the event as both a keynote speaker on LinkedIn as well as an exhibitor.
Early start to the day
I had a very early start to the day attending the Dean and Directors Breakfast at 07.30. The keynote speaker was Phuti Mahanyele Chief Executive Officer Shanduka Group (Pty) Ltd. The lady is so young and yet has achieved so much. She gave a thought-provoking talk on what we can do in Africa to reposition ourselves in the global economy. I used quite a few ideas from Phuti’s keynote address to tweak my own talk on LinkedIn later in the day.
Where was the interest in LinkedIn?
Standing for more than 6 to 8 hours I spoke to anyone and everyone who would care who was curious about LinkedIn. Most of the interest was coming from Professionals . This was followed by entrepreneurs and executives. The most popular question was how one could use LinkedIn to benefit their career. I had so many people at my LinkedIn Coach stand at times I could not cope. I gave it everything I got. I shared my passion and enthusiasm for LinkedIn. I haven’t exchanged so many business cards before.
Great interest in LinkedIn Book
There was great demand for the Book “LinkedIncome – Grow your Revenue online” by Dr Nikolaus Eberl. I had taken just a few copies to check out interest but so many people wanted to buy the book and I only had enough for promotional purposes. I will make sure that there are enough copies of this book and my own book on LinkedIn at the next even that I present at.
Interesting experience in the morning
I want to share an interesting experience from the morning. I got the opportunity to talk at this event because a good friend of mine Colette Ross-Symanowitz was kind enough to share her slot on networking with me. She had a slot from 12.45 to 11.30 to talk about Tips for networking and she split this with me. She honestly did not have to and I don’t know many people who would have done that.
I was little worried because I was already feeling a little tired before my talk. To make matters interesting my powerpoint had 8 slides with simple pictures, no words at all. I had taken this approach after listening to Douglas Kruger a week earlier talking about death by Powerpoint. I wanted people to listen to me and not stare at the presentation. I did however make some notes from a keynote speech in the morning and decided on the spot I would use some of that material.
Getting ready for my presentation
I went in to sit in Boardroom 2 at the front of the room while Colette gave her talk. By that time my voice was already getting hoarse from talking for about 2 hours at my stand. Colette gave an excellent talk and presentation with great tips on networking but strangely enough she had no questions during her talk. I think the audience were still warming up. She had also covered some aspects about LinkedIn so I would have to make sure I didn’t repeat anything. I told myself people would ask questions in my session. I could not bear to have a presentation without any questions.
Talking about LinkedIn
When I started talking about LinkedIn I was suddenly filled with an incredible energy. I had little clue what I was exactly going to say (remember all I had was a picture and I had to talk around it), just an idea and I spoke without any hesitation. Somehow I was just so focussed on what I was doing and I felt in control. I did not pause to wonder what I was going to say next. It just flowed, like a script. I moved throughout the room and tried to connect and engage with the audience. I felt everything falling into its place. I was so animated it was like I was acting a script. At one stage I shook someone’s hand in the audience, taking them by surprise. I felt in the zone. The tiredness I had felt earlier was completely gone. Download my presentation.
Telling a story
I concluded that I don’t want to do powerpoints. I want to tell a story. I want to captivate my audience, to take them on an adventure filled with drama and surprise. After the talk I got some really great reviews including one from a connection on LinkedIn who attended the talk. This has been my best talk on LinkedIn to date.
Just to let you know I was blown away by your presentation today – Well Done! I thought you were articulate and used the room well when connecting with the audience.
Later in the evening I was also invited for an MBA Alumni Networking event where Russell Loubser was the speaker. I thoroughly enjoyed his talk and got a chance to talk to him afterwards.
I was deeply moved by the events on Tuesday. It doesn’t make sense when I try to think about everything from a logical perspective but when I just smile and am grateful for an amazing day it just seems so much easier.
I end by congratulating the South Africa Business Association (SABSA) on hosting a very well organised event. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.