Morning Startup Perth has been going for over 4 years now, and is the first startup event that a lot of people go to. Chris Dinham recently spoke at a Morning Startup event, and shares his experience.
For many startup founders, speaking on stage in front of an audience who is eager to hear everything that comes out of your mouth is appealing. While in theory it’s not hard to talk about something you’re passionate about, doing it on stage is a whole different ball game.
Like all good things, starting something new is always easier when you do it with friends. When I finally decided that hiding behind my computer every time someone whispered ‘public speaking’ was a silly thing to do, I went in search of an audience who would smile upon my green public speaking abilities.
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If you’re playing with a few little projects, Morning Startup Perth is the place to be for the latest startup announcements, news and networking with your peers. Not only that but they have amazing speakers that always have something great to share.
This seemed the perfect fit for my public speaking debut. So after introducing myself to the founders of the group, I was booked in to present ‘Search Engine Optimisation for Startups – A Crash Course‘.
Speaking at Morning Startup Perth: How to prepare
As we all know, confidence and personality go hand in hand with public speaking. A confident speaker on stage is in control of the audience and as a listener, you feel more relaxed and willing to take in information.
My ultimate goal was for the audience to come away with real value from the presentation. I wanted them all to leave that room inspired to market their startup with SEO and feel like they had the tools to do it.
Building my presentation was easy. I think any business owner who is passionate about what they do can pile a heap of information onto google slides without any problems.
There are a few steps though that I feel are paramount to preparing the success of a speech…
- Simple slides: I tried to keep my slides as lean as possible. If there are scores of information on your slides people tend to read that rather than listen to you.
- Brand your slides: Don’t just use the standard white background with Ariel text. Make it consistent with your brand. Include your company colours, company text and always have a link to your website at the bottom of the slides.
The link above to my presentation above has my slides if you want an example of this.
- Practise like a maniac: I guess this one is pretty obvious. Over 30 mind boggling hours were dedicated to this presentation from creating the slides to practising in front of the mirror. Wrangling in a few mates to practise in front of would also be recommended. Alcohol is a great currency to exchange 30mins of their time to listen to your preso.
- Build hype on Social networks: You’re about to do a live event! Yes its free but you need to promote it as much as you can. Talk about it on social media and give a link to the Morning Startup Perth meetup page so they can RSVP.
What to expect on the day of Morning Startup Perth:
To be honest, it was a little bit of a blur to me now. The fact that it’s in the morning could explain that. As a online marketer/web designer at heart, mornings aren’t normally what I do.
The team gets to Spacecubed 15 minutes before to set up. The venue is well set up for these types of events so organising the projector and the laser clicker thing takes a whole one minute.
There is then around 5-1o minutes of startup announcements and news before the guest speaker has his/hers turn on the chopping block.
Sure, i’ll admit I was a little nervous. Speaking at this event was a big deal for me. But, yet 2-3 minutes into the presentation all those nerves went out the door.
Standing up there in front of 50 people, all with pen in hand writing down notes was an absolute thrill. Something just clicked and everything felt natural.
There was no knee shaking, no sweating palms and no broken voice. The crowd were just so happy I was speaking to them and it felt like there was no pressure at all.
This is testament to the crowd and startup industry as a whole in Perth.
How to maximise your exposure
Now with all the warm and fuzzies aside, speaking at an event positions you as an authority in your field. So of course it’s great for business if you are giving the audience real value.
Here’s how to maximise that value:
- Expect questions: If you have given amazing value in the presentation expect a bombardment of questions. Answer them in depth and be honest if you don’t know the answer. This will create credibility with the audience.
- Stick around for networking: The best bit of value you will receive from speaking at Morning Startup Perth will be the networks you make after. People will approach you at the end (because of the relaxed atmosphere), seeking more information or even to make a direct inquiry to your business. Make sure you block out enough time afterwards to sit down with a few of these new contacts and get to know them. You never know where it could take you.
- Make your slides available to the public: People love things they can download and refer to. Make your slides available to everyone so they can remind themselves of the presentation and even share it with friends.
If you have a website, get the slides up on your website. This will drive traffic to your website and make it easy for a customer to get in touch with you. Of course you have branded your slides so whoever views them will know exactly who created them. Don’t forget to share them on social media as well!
It is so exciting to be a part of this collaborative movement which helps inspire entrepreneurs in Western Australia to build meaningful businesses.
Speaking at morning Startup Perth is only the beginning, I plan to speak at many more free events around Perth about SEO and building websites. Keep an eye out for me and say hi!