This time next week, I’ll be in the swing of things at Blogtacular, one of the well-known blogger conferences in the UK. In their own words, “Blogtacular is the place for people whose hearts beat with creativity to come together to meet, share and inspire.” What can I say, it’s going to be epic. I love meeting new (and old) people, I love sharing info and I love soaking up inspiration. During the week of my 40th birthday, I received an email from Kat and Kelly from the Blogtacular crew asking if I’d like to be part of a panel. They have a serious pitch process and as my blog has only been around for about a year, it was quite a WOW moment for me. So how do I really feel about speaking at Blogtacular?
Is this really happening? Yes, I really am doing this. I have to keep checking in with myself as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a little while. My name is up there on the speakers list – it’s real. When sitting in the big auditorium at another conference last year, I realised that one of the things I’d love to do is actually speak at a blogger conference. This kind of thing is honestly way more important to me than how many followers I have or other numbers that are easy to focus on. For me, it’s more about the opportunities and collaborations that my blog encourages. It’s really about who my followers are and who I’m collaborating with.
Collaborating alongside serious talent…I’m on a panel with Alison Perry, Not Another Mummy Blog and author/podcaster Emma Gannon. (One of my favourite podcasts led by Emma is the one with badass YouTuber Lilly Singh.) It’s a cool honour to be sitting alongside Alison and Emma on the panel – true experts in their fields. The full speaker line up for Blogtacular is pretty impressive. Check it out here and even if you can’t be at Blogtacular this year, follow the speakers as they’re all doing great stuff.
Hanging out with serious talent…A few friends are also coming to Blogtacular for the first time this year. I get to hang out with them at the other sessions which is a real treat. I also get to meet lots of other inspiring creatives and business owners. I know I’ll be coming home buzzing, not just from the Staying Sane talk but also because I’ll be learning heaps throughout the day.
Being in front of a (very big) crowd…As a HR expert and working in the corporate sphere, I’ve had to get up on stage and speak about all kinds of things in front of hundreds of people. Some talks they’ve wanted to hear about, some they haven’t so it’s all about keeping people interested for the next hour. I run workshops for small and big crowds. The other week, I spoke on a panel at an eBay summit in London. Luckily, all of this different practice has given me a bit of confidence to keep going with public speaking.
When you’re actually on that stage…Regardless of how big or small the stage is or how big the crowd is, I’ll always feel a nervous rush. It’s a mix of excitement and what ifs? It’s only natural right? The biggest crowd I’ve had to stand up in front of was at Sheffield Arena for a Top of The Pops performance with Artful Dodger (check if the clip here if you want!). It’s funny how different moments in your career set you up for the future. People assume public speakers must feel confident. It’s those non-confident moments that can actually help you to focus on your strengths and talents. I chat about this lots with my coaching clients.
It’s all learning peeps…Just because I don’t mind public speaking, it doesn’t mean I’m perfect at it. After every event I think about what I could have done better. If you’ve seen me at one of the Lucky Things Meet Ups, I often ask myself these questions afterwards. Did the crowd like what I talked about? Was it helpful? Did I look out at the audience enough?Oh goodness, did my hand gestures look funny? Right, what’s the thing I’m going to do differently next time?!
We all need to think about staying sane and in the blogging world…Wellbeing and mental health is a big thing on Lucky Things blog. So it’s a good feeling being part of an important discussion on Staying sane in the blogging world. Alison is chairing the panel and we’re covering so many interesting themes and practical tricks to look after ourselves.
A true career highlight…This time last year I officially launched Lucky Things Blog. 2016 was an interesting year for us as a little family – full of ups and downs (literally if you’ve read my blog on Why we need to talk about depression all year round). Our experiences and tactics have inspired me to write more about managing your career and wellbeing. So this time last year, I would not have imagined that I’d be speaking at one of the most popular blogger conferences out there. Saturday 10 June 2017 will be a career highlight for me, that’s for sure.
Over to you…What do you think about speaking in front of a crowd? Do you like going to conferences to boost your inspiration, skills or knowledge? What do you think about how I feel? What’s one of your career highlights? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think too…