Are you someone that attends conferences and conventions regularly? If so, do you find them boring and find yourself secretly texting through the presentations?
Well, I just returned from the 2011 Financial Blogger Conference, and I was incredibly impressed. I only occasionally texted, but I kind of had to because I had to keep in touch with my kids. Boring is about the last word I would use to describe the presentations that were given at this conference!
Anyway, I have to compliment Phil at PT Money for organizing a spectacular event. Every single presentation was on time, the food was great, transportation was provided, and the speakers were fabulous, each and every one of them.
Something That Stood Out To Me At The Conference
The entire weekend was exhausting. I learned so much, and at a very reasonable price! The ticket to the conference was $89, my hotel stay totaled around $200, and I spent around $100 on gas to get me there and back. So, I spent less than $400 for the entire weekend, and I think I will get many times that amount in return, over time.
As I said, the speakers were great, and there are a million things I will remember about the weekend. However, something that Pat Flynn from The Smart Passive Income Blog said really stuck with me. The gist of his comment was this: It is the voice of the writer that makes the content special. He pointed out that the slides he prepared could be printed off and reviewed by people on their own. He then asked, how meaningful would they be? I am sure the information would still be somewhat helpful, but it is really the combination of the content and ‘story’ behind the content, that makes the information memorable. (And in my opinion, easier to retain.) In other words, you could take that same presentation, have 10 different people give it, and probably end up with 10 different perspectives and ‘take aways’ from the same information.
On the way home, I thought about Pat’s message. It made me think back to college, when I found the crossword puzzle in the school newspaper much more intriguing than the lectures being given. I so wish I had gotten an education where the professors put some meaning behind what they were teaching instead of just regurgitating what we could already find in the book. I am not saying that it is the professor’s fault that I goofed off or didn’t go to class, I should have been a ‘better’ student. However, the unfortunate part is that there would be no difference if I read the slides myself, or if the professor read them to us while standing at the overhead projector. It was just words being said, and nothing else.
It is definitely a fine line when writing to both engage AND educate the reader. It is an area that I know I can improve on, and I will be keeping Pat’s message in mind when I do write my posts. (Along with the info provided by all the other great presenters too.) If you are a blogger and couldn’t attend the conference, I strongly suggest you try to track down any videos you can find from the weekend. (At the moment, I cannot find any online, but will update when I do.) If you did attend, is there a comment or moment that stood out for you?