The topic of this blog is deceiving. Refer to point number three.
One normally attends events like these to learn and network. Neither happened. I was so disappointed with the first aspect, that I didn’t really make an effort with the second.
Here are five things that can be corrected for a not-so-disappointing SMW next year.
1. Organise better
Stick to timelines. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have enough people in the audience, start on time. It sets the trend for the event. It’s frustrating for the next session’s panelists to wait for the previous one to end. Possibly even more frustrating for the audience when a session ends abruptly because the organisers are panicking with celebrities waiting around for the next one. And please, don’t bother introducing a speaker who strolls in 5 minutes before the session ends.
2. Get credible speakers/ panelist
Trying not to sound rude, but correct me if am wrong about this one. We need to see someone on stage who possibly knows slightly better than the audience, even if he/ she is not a rockstar in the domain. Thinking “Man, I could’ve explained this far better” most of the time (genuinely and not as an ego booster), is definitely a downer. No offence to the few who knew what they speaking about.
3. Stay focused on the topic
This was the deal breaker for me. If the topic says ‘The impact of Social Media on Education’ or ‘Crowd sourced Journalism & Viral News in The City’, what would you want to hear from it? Tough one but am guessing it is – The impact of Social Media on Education and Crowd sourced Journalism & Viral News in The City, more or less?
If that’s a difficult one to understand, here’s a corollary. What we don’t want to hear is what you and your brand are doing.
4. Research, prepare, rehearse
“I think I did something, the screen is blank.” “Sorry guys, I missed that slide.” Blank screens. Stutters. Akward pauses because you don’t know what to say.
Nope, not happening, if you are the speaker.
You may know everything about what you have done, but as a speaker at a session, please come prepared for the topic you need to talk about. Get some notes, have a plan, say the right things, look cool, get applause. Difficult?
Read First aid for your speaking skills for more.
5. Learn from Arnab Goswami
Now, what’s the best thing we know know about Arnab? C’mon guys, seriously.
Why do you have a moderator? To moderate a discussion, drive the conversation along a defined path, and ensure the panelists don’t go overboard with their “When I was the head of…” story.
Ok, yeah, Arnab wasn’t the best example, but you get the drift.
There you have it. Hoping the organisers of this event fix at least these basics in the future and not let their audience troll (heard that a lot during the sessions) like this.
I registered for at least two events each day, traveled from a different city, arrived at the venue well ahead of time…excitement levels were high. If only the event title had been ‘Social media for dummies’, it would have saved people like me the trouble of keeping work aside to attend it.