In Our Opinion

Knowing when to blow up my presentation

By October 7, 2015 January 21st, 2019 No Comments

This week I had the pleasure of speaking on the topic of Content Marketing at the ABA Bank Marketing Conference in Denver, Colorado.

For those who know me, or have seen me present, know that I have two goals when taking the stage – tell a good story and provide useful/real world information. Having spent the last month working on my deck and my “script” (although I never write anything down), I was feeling pretty good heading into the conference.

Until I took a closer look at the full conference agenda and the decks of a few of the other speakers. With several speakers, including Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, addressing “content” I realized my presentation needed to be changed.

No problem, except I made this discovery while waiting for my plane the night before I was scheduled to speak. (With hindsight, I probably should have looked at this earlier!)

I probably could have left the presentation as I had designed it – I was confident it was full of good, solid content. But my concern was that, by the end of day two of the conference, when I would be speaking, I wouldn’t be offering enough to attendees. They didn’t need to hear more about building an editorial calendar. They needed to hear about where to source content, how to tell a good story, and how to find, work with and compensate guest writers & bloggers.

So I blew up my presentation.

I blew up my presentation knowing that I was going to heighten my stress and pre-conference anxiety levels to historic levels. I blew up my presentation knowing I would have to admit to my audience that the presentation in their hands was just a draft, and risking sounding like I was “winging it.”

I blew up my presentation because, ultimately, I had to feel like I had told a good story and passed along real world, useful information.  Because that’s what I want when I go to a conference.

Here’s hoping it was worth the explosion!