Public speaking is one of the most feared things to do, in fact, according to some it is more feared than death itself. 

L&D folk must be mad then to actually want to get up in front of people on a regular basis and present, guide, talk, chat, facilitate, question and generally be in the ‘public domain’.

Speaking for myself, I still get the worse case of nerves and ‘the fear’ before I speak in public and I’m not the only one as this beautiful post from @Fuchsia_Blue  explains far more eloquently than I ever could

Breath & Bravery 

There is perhaps some difference between the day job in L&D and facilitating a workshop for example and getting up in front of X amount of people at an event to speak about X. Both scenarios can provoke the same emotions and feelings of unease and nervousness.

I admire anyone who can get up and talk in front of an audience whether that audience is 5 or 500. Luckily, I’ve seen some fantastic speakers – people who tell stories and capture the imagination of their audience leaving them spellbound for 60 minutes. I’ve seen speakers who read off a slide deck full of bullet points, who don’t make eye contact or know their subject matter.

When I spoke at ATD earlier this year – the American audience were very unforgiving and the rule of two feet applied. If the speaker wasn’t doing what they said there were going to do or talk about what they said they were going talk about…. or if the speaker was as engaging as a dead parrot they would just up and leave and find a session that offered them more.

It’s this ‘more’ that has always fascinated me in terms of presenting in a public space, my work with communities over the last few years as led me to think about content, curation and sharing in different ways and this has filtered through to the way I deliver and share the sessions I’m involved in. Questions I ponder.

  • How do I make the sessions I deliver more open and collaborative?
  • How do I make them more interactive and engaging?
  • How do I create resources, curate and share the content ‘we’ produce with a wider audience?

I’ve tried making all my sessions more social through using the back channel at whatever conference it is and I’ve then started to curate the content afterwards to share on tools like Storifyexample from ATD here 

This time at CIPD ACE 15 I’m pushing the boat out a little further and experimenting with more social tools and sharing the session in different ways.

Firstly for anyone who attends I encourage you to bring your ipad and/or mobile as I’ll be broadcasting the presentation live at the same time using Zeetings

At 10.45 on the 4th November I’ll be broadcasting from the following URL

You’ll be able to see the slides and make notes, share ideas and also participate in polls and questions live when you’re there, or if you’re not.

For anyone who can’t be there on the day the way I thought I’d get around this is to broadcast the presentation using Periscope TV – you can download the app and follow me @Community_Mike so you’ll be notified when I’m online.

You’ll be able to tune in to watch the presentation via

I’ll also be sending some tweets out using the #LDchange hashtag on Twitter so watch out for tweets and get involved as I’ll be curating whatever comes back and pulling together any content that is generated from Zeetings, Periscope and Twitter.

So it’s going to be live and available to those who attend and for anyone who can’t there are opportunities to watch, get involved and contribute. Hopefully I’ll have some good resources to share afterwards as well.

The title of the session is Why Corporate Learning Needs to Change and How in the HR Trends and Essentials area.

It’s at 10.45-11.15 GMT and it would be fabulous if you could join me – from where ever you are in the world.

This might turn out to be style over substance, this might be gimmicky and it could fall flat on its face as so many things ‘could’ go wrong but if you don’t try, you don’t know, if you don’t experiment, you don’t discover, and if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.

And that’s not being brave.

A leap of faith?

A leap of faith?