Web Marketing Festival 2016 in Italy: what did I learn being a speaker?

What’s the Web Marketing Festival 2016?

After 3.5 years away from Italy, it’s always nice to be back, attending events and meeting people not only working in online marketing. Even if in the past I’ve worked with Italian companies, in the last three years I mainly focused on international projects, that’s why I thought it was time to give it back to the community my passion was born.

My giving-back time has started with a speech at the Web Marketing Festival where I talked about Growth Hacking, having the chance to meet with a lot of people working and interested in marketing.

I was nervous, it was ages I wasn’t having a speech in Italian and wasn’t really sure how people will react. And the organisation of the festival asked me to make my presentation a bit more generic just one week before as it was too specific on tools and tactics. That’s how I am, I thought. But, I agreed to change it.
I tried to enter the room before the first speech. Failed. The room was full.
So, I ended up just waiting for my turn and grabbing some words from the previous speaker.
Green light, it’s my turn. The room was packed, I had a look at my presentation, it was working.
There wasn’t a wifi mic, I had just to stand in front of it on the stage, in front of a computer covering half of my face, I couldn’t move. Panic. The moderator wasn’t doing anything to help.
What should I do? You-just-need-to-breath-and-talk.

Step out from your comfort zone

learning-motivational-quotesAnd that’s what I did. I didn’t care about the fact people couldn’t really see me. Or the fact that I added too many English words. I just pushed the accelerator and go. I know, sometimes I turned too hard or I asked a silly question and I should have nourished the conversation. You always learn. But if you’re not stepping ahead from your confort zone, you’ll never understand how much you need to steer.

What did I learn speaking at the Web Marketing Festival 2016

It was fun, got an amazing turnout, a lot of great questions and people met.
But now, it’s time to think. It’s important looking back and understand what I did learn attending the Web Marketing Festival.
What can I do to improve myself?

  • Hook the audience & tell your story. I know it’s hard. In my case, extremely hard, as I was feeling completely disconnected with that audience, I didn’t now what they were interested in. But I should have told my personal story, full of memories and hopes.
  • Ask as many questions as you can
    You need to gather information about your audience before starting your speech, so you’re sure you understand their expectations. If you can’t just ask them a lot of information before, for example questions or fun facts. Coming from a country were people don’t really want to know about your story, especially when you talk to small and super specific events, I haven’t thought it was that important. But now, I know it. Especially when you’re in a big festival.
  • Share as many examples as you can
    Practical approaches always win, so better starting with one or two business cases, and then wrapping up to one-two definitions. In my case was a bit too difficult as there aren’t many examples of Growth Hacking strategies apart from social media or online platforms, but probably I’ll add more examples in my next talk. 

    When you learn you always win, you just need to be patient and keep going!

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