So I just got done speaking at Pubcon, you can read the review on Revenews this week. The show was amazing and probably one of my favorite places ever to speak. The people were inviting and the audience had no hesitations when it came to asking questions. Some of the panel members on the other hand did have issues with giving answers. Not the panel I was on (Chuck, Paul and I answered everything and didn’t do a song and dance. I felt very proud to be on a stage with both of them), but some of the others would dance around questions because they either didn’t know how to answer or they were to scared to actually share some real advice.
A few people that I have been on panels with have approached me after we were done speaking and after the meet and greet is over and they have told me that I over share information and strategy. That got me thinking, when I look at who gets the most visitors after a show or session and who gets the most out of it, it is usually the person who actually shared information and gave real answers and helped the audience. This is what made me think of a song from a hit Broadway show called You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and if you know anything about me you also know that I am a huge Kristin Chenoweth fan so when you combine her and a Broadway show together like You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown then you know I have to find a way to use it at some point. Because of the comments that I over share information and give away to much advice for free, I think this is the perfect time to get to use the Kristin Chenoweth My Philosophy song from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
So you want to know my new philosophy? It’s easy, it is “If you have a problem with giving advice, sit your *ss back down and get off my stage!”. Ok so that sounds a bit weird and harsh but when you actually think about it, what makes a show great? What makes a session great? Why would someone want to come back to a show or come back and see a speaker again? The value in a show comes from the people who are there to teach in a session and from the networking that takes place during and after the show.
Although most speakers, besides the keynote, are not paid, they technically are in that they get free passes to the shows which can be worth over $1,000 if you have to pay for it yourself, not to mention that they get backlinks to their sites, free exposure for their names and a place to showcase their knowledge. When you really think about it you are being paid a heck of a lot of money for that hour you are on stage and the amount of exposure you get is absolutely amazing. For the people in the audience, they are the ones who are paying the most.
Not only do they have to pay for their tickets and passes to the show, but they are spending their time in your session instead of learning in other sessions and if they don’t feel like they got their money’s worth, then they not only wasted time listening to you talk about nothing and avoiding actually helping, but they could have gone to another session and actually learned something. By not sharing strategies and in a good amount of detail than you not only stole a spot from someone who would have shared a strategy but you have also wasted the people in the audiences time by having them sit through a bunch of general answers when they could have been learning something in someone else’s session.
When you look at who has the most people coming up to them after a session and who doesn’t, most of the time it is the person who shared the most and not only spoke up, but spoke up because they had something of value to say. I don’t think you should talk just to be heard, but you should talk when you have some actual advice to give with examples and solid recommendations. I am probably one of the lesser known people on most panels but after each one I am usually one of the ones with the most people waiting to talk to me. The only reason is that I am not scared to share my strategies. That is what I am being paid with a pass to share and what the people who come to see me speak expect to get from me and my sessions. When I went to a site review at Pubcon I saw Rae Hoffman for the first time and even though she is an absolute Diva of the Search Marketing world, the reason she had the most people waiting to talk is because she is the one who shared the most solid and to the point strategies.
She wasn’t scared to share what was on her mind and give advice that she thought was helpful and would benefit the audience, but she also went above and beyond what she was asked to do and gave them pointers on potential copy to write and how to pitch to get backlinks and get to guest blog. She was above and beyond knowledgeable and not afraid to share her ideas with complete strangers. That is why she was able to have along line of people waiting to talk to her after the show.
So when it comes to my new Philosophy and speaking, if you think I am giving away to much information well, get off my stage and let someone else on who is looking to share. That is why we are asked to speak and why people pay to come to our sessions instead of just an expo hall pass. Pubcon was amazing and if you have never been to the show then I highly recommend you go. Hopefully they’ll have me back again as it was above and beyond one of my favorite shows and one of my favorite places to speak. If you want to watch the videos when they are released it was the session on Tuesday morning about why you should start an Affiliate program and what to watch out for.