Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I have to admit that I had some conflicting emotions ahead of last night’s first ever Ladies That Tweet event. On the one hand I thought (and still do think) that it’s a fantastic idea and was hugely looking forward to meeting like-minded ladies from across Cornwall and further afield. On the other hand however, I was pathetically whimpering inside at the thought of having to get up in front of a room full of people and ‘say stuff’. Not just any stuff either, stuff that they might (please god, let them) find interesting – or at least not horribly boring.
I should probably have more confidence in speaking in front of people by now, what with doing regular training for rooms full of them. But it’s something quite different up on a stage, with a microphone, and an extremely flattering introduction about how great you are (thanks guys!). I’m not a natural lover of the limelight – I can remember every line of every play I was in at school (“Yes”, “Morning, Doc Gibbs” and “And I”), and I very quickly decided the career of a TV reporter was not for me the first time I saw myself on screen.
But if the lots of extremely lovely tweets I received both yesterday and today are to be believed, then it turned out to be alright on the night. Certainly the event itself was a roaring success. Getting nigh on a hundred intelligent, interesting, professional women in the same place at the same time isn’t an easy job, but Clemi, Jo and Shelley did themselves and all of us proud. The room looked great, the technicals went without a hitch (not something I can say of any live event I can recall at the BBC), and the stew was off the scale delicious.
I decided rather than giving a ‘speech’ as such to try to share some of what I do and what I know – so basically talked around the bespoke social media strategy session I run for the BBC. I hoped there weren’t too many boring slides, and I hoped it all made sense (the run-through I did on my own in my kitchen I thought went pretty well), but it is a whole different ball game up there on the stage. To be honest, I still wouldn’t have any idea how well it went if it wasn’t for all the lovely messages I received in person, and (of course) in tweets.
Social media is such a new thing, and can be taken and used in so many different ways. But to me the best thing about it, is that there truly is something for everyone, and I hope this came across last night. Not just from what Molly and I said as speakers, but from all the hundreds of conversations I could see happening around the room. I certainly met people and discovered links that I know will continue in the future and I hope that is true for everyone else.
So really I want to say a big thank you to pretty much everyone involved: for inviting me to speak, for getting me out of my comfort zone, for the introduction to so many fab women who all live and work near me, and for that seriously tasty stew. But most of all, for the first (and quite possibly last) opportunity I’ve had in Cornwall to wear these shoes.
Thank You Ladies.