I love public speaking. I don’t suffer any of the jitters or fears that many people think about when it comes to getting up on a stage and telling people what you think. I thought I’d share another public speaking tip, one I feel really strongly about. Apparently, so does Apple’s Eddy Cue.
I’ve always wondered though… there are so many people who can’t help but promote their companies when they speak (even when asked not to). I remember one presentation, in either Europe or South Africa, where I literally got hugged afterwards (by a guy!) who loved that I didn’t mention my company name once after introducing myself. I hadn’t even mentioned my product. I was talking about APM and the need for a different type of management in a distributed application where different pieces were under different control. That was in comparison (I had noticed) to my main competitor at the time who simply used his regular corporate pitch but without his logo (you could literally see blanked out spots in the graphics where his logo would have been).
Speaking at a conference is an opportunity to share ideas. It should be obvious that I work for a company, and that I want you to use my product. My passion indicates my belief. If you want to know more about my company, I always hang out at conferences so people can met me. Of course, I’m pretty responsive on social media as well (something that’s not always of obvious value to corporate types).
That said, I have a very broad exposure to things going on in the industry as a result of my job. That makes what I have to say interesting. While you may not agree, it’s way more interesting to debate an issue than to hear about my products. And… if I get you thinking about the issues I’m talking about, which you have to be doing if you arrive at the conclusion that you disagree with them, I’ve been successful.
What’s the impetus for this post?
Was reading about the iTunes festival in Austin, and I saw this quote from Eddy Cue at Apple:
We’re not trying to pitch our products here — it’s all about the artists and the music,” said Cue. “It’s about the emotion of the artists and the fans.
That’s what makes the iTunes festival so unique.
And, that’s what will make your talk memorable the next time you choose not to sell so hard.