Coverings is THE stone and tile convention of the year and it is being held in Orlando April 17-20th at the convention center. You may well ask why - as a door person - do I care about stone and tile? The answer is simple enough. There will be many wonderful people that I know via Social Media attending and this is a chance to meet them face to face. Orlando is only an hour away from Tampa so the drive would be easy. Of course it doesn't hurt that stone and tile work is beautiful and it would give me the chance to learn about something other than doors.
At some point earlier this year Paul Anater, of the famed Kitchen and Residential Design blog, tweeted that he was providing the social media for the event. Since I know Paul and live in the area I asked if I could help in anyway. His response was "would you like to give a 15 minute talk on social media?" I think my heart stopped. I have never given a speech before, not even an informal one and am not a fan of attention. When I ask my question I really meant is there any behind the scenes duties I can help with. Apparently the universe said time to get out in front! After 15 minutes of frantic texting to my BFF I responded to Paul of course, I would honored. My brain was swirling.
A few days later I attended a cello concert with friends and was sharing the story. One of those friends had been a speech coach in a former career and offered to help me. The universe is kind and didn't want me to make a complete idiot out of myself. Of course I said yes, thank you!
The speech process has been interesting. The majority of people I shared this new adventure with said they write out an outline of bullet points. Well I tried that and even in my own home my brain had a white out. What felt natural to me was to type as I talk - just like I do here. So I typed. I met with my speech coach and I think the first run through was 4 minutes. I have 15 minutes to fill but that 4 minutes felt like an eternity. Interestingly enough my speech coach isn't involved with any social media so the fact that my talk is geared to those folks not understanding it was perfect. It took 4 meetings but I knew the exact moment when the speech was in the bag. That is the right expression isn't it? When you know you have it?
Since then it has been practice practice practice! I learned if I have a glass of wine one night I still can not talk well 24 hours later. No adult beverages for me for the next week!
If you are attending Coverings and would like to hear my talk or any of the other fabulous speakers pop on over to the Coverings Social Media Lounge Tuesday at 1:00 pm. I will be the one praying I won't lose my voice.
Here are a few ways you can check out what Coverings has to offer:
Speakers Facebook Twitter Google+
Oh and did I mention all this wonder is free :)