Would you like a new speaker?
See, I do read my comments first to my blogroll ;) Thanks to Lloyd for the link:
After the discussions about “where are the women speakers?”, Mary Hodder has taken action of launching a Speaker’s Wiki:
The speaker’s wiki is one way to get us moved beyond the rut we are in, with too few speakers asked to talk over and over, and not enough new voices. And it is a way to find people based on their expertise, verses having to know them by name. Once a potential speaker is found, there is an opportunity to find out more by going through the usual word-of-mouth channels.
One reason, why the same are asked over and over again is because they have proven to be interesting and not afraid.
But the fresh voices come from an angle one might not notice at first: Before blogs and podcasting, being on the “Conference Circuit” meant, you could deliver one and the same presentation over and over again. Conferences are not that cheap, so chances are, you as a visitor only go to one conference.
Today, you have podcasting and soon videocasting – and before I go to a conference, it is very likely that I have seen or heard you before. Unless you are an actor like Wil Wheaton presenting your book and making it a pleasure to listen to it several times, I don’t want to listen to it again.
Either you are able to deliver a presentation on a topic and adapt it enough for this special conference, that the new presentation (while in core the same) or please give me a new presenter. For me it is too expensive to spend half a conference outside just chit chatting because I know what you are saying.
Don’t get me wrong, I have one presentation I have been given over the last 5 years, quite unchanged – but that is not a conference, but a seminar, and I know that all of the listeners are freshmen. :) I know how comforting it feels to be in your topic and present without a problem when you only need to be there in time. ;))
But with conferences, this is different. We, the visitors are different now. We are much more connected and expect more of you – which again is a good reason to have ‘junior’ spots for presentation – so newer voices can practice. Training classes on how to make a good presentation in such a crowd, while at least half of the people are typing on their keyboards, not looking at you.
Also, the smaller the conference is, the lower the budget – and this brings again the European angle back: It is so much easier to pay for a Ryanair ticket than for a transatlantic flight. or a train. And honestly – over hear it of course is nice to see ‘big names’ like at reboot, but one time is okay.
Another thing I like about Mary’s initiative: It is not girls only. Because that is the world, we are living in: boys and girls. Btw, I lied in the line about me not changing the one presentation, I have presented for some years now. It is my ‘longest running’ one, but I do adapt things a little bit: The amount of bashing of men. I measure my success in this by the time it takes the pure female audience to ask me, if I even like men. See, you did not expect that from my former blog postings, right?
But that is easily explained. It is a seminar about why you and your business needs to be presented on the internet, it is a female only course for entrepreneurs, and I have given it 1-3 times a year since 1998. The content from back then has not changed much – yes, you need to be, yes it will be growing, you want a website for different reasons, you want to be nice to your visitors and give me what I want, and you don’t want to steal text / graphic. Still the same as it was back then.
The reason they suspect me to be not fond of men? I hammer those women in their heads, that usually men have no clue of what they are talking about in technical terms, but will never admit that. And that shops want you to sell things and not make the best choice for you. And that if you don’t register your domain name now, some one else will. (Best loved quote: “but that is mine! that would be not be nice of someone else!”). That the business world out there is more of a shark pond than a goldfish bowl.
I can tell you that they now all have some kind of email address, still no one with a blog, but most of them still rely on the fact that their men will know what to do. Not the partner kind of way – the managing kind of way. The next thing the tell me is that they will be successfull because their are so independent. Yeah right.
But I get off the topic: I like it, that there are men and women. That is a list I will occasionally go through. :o)