Tag Archives: public speaking

On the BCFHPS conference and candy

I did it! I have successfully given my first presentation to a conference audience (outside of my workplace). And boy did it feel great! I snapped the pic below of people as they were filtering in the room; there ended up being about 50 people in total.

My audience – I had about 50 people in there by the time I started talking!

On Sunday night, there was a meet and greet at the hotel for all conference attendees, so I asked to see the room I’d be in to get a feel for it (and to help visualize it in my head). I met a few people, had a glass of wine and some cheese, and whenever I started telling people about my topic, I’d get all fired up, so I knew I was ready.

Later that night, I had a late dinner with my MAPC pal Fiona, and she prepped me even more with a very thoughtful care package! All sugar, all comfort. She’s a keeper!

candy and wine

Motivational candy from my friend (and motivational wine from myself).

I must say, on Monday morning (my presentation was scheduled for 1:30), my nerves were really getting the better of me. I stayed in my room and ran through all 40 minutes of my talk several times. Before I went to the conference floor, I stood in the bathroom and took 10 giant deep breaths to clear my head. And wouldn’t you know, it helped. I smiled at everyone as they filtered in the room, and my nerves cleared. They were just people, just from another health authority and had no idea what I was going to say. I started talking and it all went smoothly from then on. Sharing the videos, particularly the flash mob video, caught the most excitement. I even managed to get a few good laughs from the audience!

I’d say it was a grand success in my world :).

Yesterday, I got an email via LinkedIn from someone who saw me speak, wanting to add me to their network, and her note said, “I am impressed by your presentation today. You know your topic so well. You certainly do not look like a first time speaker to a large group. You can add public speaking to your list of accomplishments.”

Isn’t that fantastic? Totally made all the nerves worth it!

Public speaking – check!

Into the world of public speaking

Social media workshop

My session description on the BCFHPS website. (Click to see a larger image.)

A few months ago, a colleague in our financial department asked me if I’d be a speaker at this year’s BC Financial Healthcare Professionals Society (BCFHPS) Conference in Vancouver. She had seen me speak on social media at my organization’s internal leadership conference last year and thought I’d be a good fit. I was flattered, amazed I’d be considered for something like this and so of course I enthusiastically said sure!

Fast forward about four months. I am giving my presentation tomorrow and I’m so nervous. Of course the extreme planner and over-thinker part of me is very prepared — probably couldn’t be more so — but this will be my first big speaking engagement outside of work presentations! I’m a concurrent speaker, meaning the audience has three choices for the time slot, my social media workshop being one of them, so it’ll be really interesting to see how many people attend.

My audience is financial professionals from BC’s health authorities and I’m a little unsure how their knowledge base around social media will be. I plan to give a basic overview of what social media and social networking are, introduce my organization’s (Northern Health) strategy around social media, talk a bit about my recent MA research (social media best practices in health care) and show off our recent campaign (the September Health Living Challenge). I’ve got several videos to show (a nice break and opportunity for me to catch my breath and slow my heart rate), and an hour to talk, including questions. My run through last night took about 50 minutes (not including videos), but I figure I’ll end up talking too fast and forgetting some things, so should be ok!

And at the end, they really have no idea what I was going to say, so it doesn’t matter if I mess up. Right guys? Right?!

I’ve been getting tips on presenting and public speaking from a variety of people lately. Things like:

  • Don’t put your hands in your pockets and don’t have change in your pockets (although isn’t this more relevant to men?)
  • Tell them up front you’re nervous (I wonder if this makes you look pathetic right off the get go though?)
  • Don’t talk fast
  • Smile
  • Picture them in their underpants (has this ever worked for anyone?)

Do you have any last minute prep tips for me?