31 year old (talk) virgin
In three days I will be nervously stepping out onto a stage to talk about ‘personality on the web’ in my first ever speaking gig at Port80, a small web conference in Newport.
For the last couple of years I have had a little voice floating around somewhere in the top left hand side of my brain saying “go on Tom, tell people about the stuff you love”. Then one day I was flicking through Twitter and I saw a tweet from another web-chap called Joel Hughes saying something along the lines of –
“If I organised a web conference in Newport, would anyone speak at it?”
Well, that was it. That was the perfect opportunity for this little bugger of a voice to say “Go on then Tom, get up there!”. Could I speak at a conference? Did I have the confidence, the knowledge or indeed the kahunas? There was only one way to find out. Rob Mills, our Studio Manager also had the hankering to get up on stage and talk, so I broached the idea of doing it together.
Since the early days of Bluegg, I have been fascinated by personality in communications, whether it be branding, marketing or on the web. Like most, I find the personality of brands like Innocent and Mailchimp enticing and intriguing. I’m always looking for the next cheeky little slogan or quip to grace the bottom of a bottle of smoothie. Rob shares my fascination. In fact he wrote a book about invisible communication which looks at how colour, type and tone all work together to form a personality designed to attract and inform.
We have a mutual interest into how brand personality can be effectively communicated online, far away from human interaction. Over the years, we’ve learned a quite lot about it. We actively promote it to our clients, and we felt like a good subject to go with, so we offered ourselves as speakers. We saw this as an opportunity to try our hand and test ourselves in front of a small local crowd, in an office somewhere, with a couple of other first time speakers. Ha, yeah good plan. Soon this mini web conference had a name, a website, was being held in the impressive University of Wales, Newport Campus, had a line up of seasoned speakers and had sold all the bloody tickets. 140 of them. Shit.
The closer we get to the day, the more excited I’m feeling. I’m sure I’ll be a bag of butterflies on the day (especially as we’re last on), but I’m looking forward to the experience, however it goes. If it’s horrible and I freak out and run off stage crying, as least I can say I’ve tried it (and Rob can always finish the talk). On the other hand, I might really enjoy it and look for more opportunities in the future. Only time will tell.
I’ll post an update when it’s all done. Wish me luck!Tweet