Reflections on my third presentation in three weeks

I spoke at Girl Geek Sydney the other night, and my presentation was about blogging – blogging isn’t what it used to be, and it’s not what most people these days think about it, either.

As I gradually transpose my presentation into chunks of smaller, juicier tidbits and takeaways in the form of blog posts, I have also learned a few things – not only about this presentation I did, but the three I have done in the past three weeks.

I’ve yet to write about the first two in detail, but their time will come, too. :)

A quick recap

I love blogging. And my topic on Tuesday night revolved entirely around blogging. I had a disjointed, unprepared presentation which was probably quite obvious to the crowd – who were still incredibly warm and friendly!

I probably wouldn’t recommend doing three different talks in the space of three weeks.

Even though my presentation was a bit of a mess, I was glad to have people’s support and I was glad to have at least piqued the interest of some people. My phone was going crazy with the tweets! And there was an interesting discussion afterwards too. Also, to the person who asked me why I chose WordPress, I’m not sure if I made it clear enough that I also design and develop the front-end of my blog, so having something extremely customisable is important – I know some people just want ‘a space’ to write on. ;)

Selecting a topic to talk about

I think keeping it short and sweet is important. My talk last week at SydCSS about good documentation was well-rounded, had flow, and sort of just got to the point. I realise my topic about blogging was insanely broad and I could really have broken it up into the following (which is just a rough guide, really):

  • Blogging and professional development
  • Blogging and personal development
  • Blogging and personal reflection
  • What to keep in mind when starting a blog
  • How to maintain a blog
  • Blogging Then and blogging Now

Due to the nature of the broad topic that I attempted to explore, I have decided that I won’t be doing that talk again in full. I would love to prepare more talks that focus on specific aspects of blogging, and that really extrapolate from the original talk I did.

Quick takeaways from the talk

If you attended the talk and want a refresher of the takeaways:

  • Blogging is not a competition. It’s not about who can write or who is the best writer.
  • You can write – write for yourself. Not what other people expect.
  • Blogs don’t have to fit into a category. Write about whatever you want.
  • Setting an expectation will put pressure on you. (So don’t do it unless you are ready!)
  • Blogging should never feel like a chore. Write as often or as little as you like.
  • Blogging is great for personal and professional development, as well as sharing ideas and making friends.

Download the slides

I’m not fond of these slides but in case you are interested, I have uploaded them to Dropbox.

Thank you to all who attended and those who followed up with me on social media afterwards. I hope to meet you at future events! If you have questions too, you can leave them below or chat with me over Twitter or via email. :D In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for more in-depth posts related to my talk.

Comments on this post

This is so, so good! I just looked over the slides too. Congratulations on completing three presentations in three weeks!

Blogging has certainly changed a lot over the years and people just assume it has always been about making lots of money, working with brands and producing content that rivals the content on the pages of magazines, which it hasn’t and isn’t.

I’ve decided to really focus on personal development and reflection on my blog in 2016, especially after reading the responses to my reader survey.

That is true. I think it is mostly because of the professional bloggers in this day and age, that people think blogging is about making money and becoming famous. I think that I’ll be focussing more on personal things after seeing some of the responses to my survey, too. In our community, I think that’s what makes us want to read each other’s blogs and what makes the community stay the way it is. :)

Congratulations on finishing up your third presentation! Look at you, bossing at public speaking and these topics XD. I notice the branding presence you give off with your slide coloring! It’s good that you managed to speak your way through even though the presentation was a bit of a mess. You’re fine and experience is what builds you. If someone asks me why I choose WordPress, I would say that it’s more customizable compared to blogger, wix, and other platforms along with the fact that the script is pretty robust.

I agree with your takeaways. Sometimes, people forget about those and take blogging too out of hand. It shouldn’t be a chore (unless it’s a job…. But then it’ll be called work???). It’s a neat way for personal and professional development! I see some gradual change from my posts over time :).

Thanks Nancy! Yes haha I am really applying the teal to my slides as well. I know WordPress has its cons but I certainly do prefer it over the ‘do everything for me’ builders there are out there. WordPress itself is always improving! It could be less bloated, but that’s a story for another day.

I think the fact that there are a lot of people who blog for a living makes people think that that is how blogging should be… but I actually got a few old-school bloggers quite interested and reminiscing on how things used to be haha. Also, considering you work in IT, you should totally blog more deeply about some of the stuff you get into there. :D

I love how your slides are blue and white, thus matching your theme. :s I think that that’s cool.

Congrats on the speech, though—that is uber cool!

Your slides are nice, and I like the points…especially how you crossed out “networking” and replaced it with “making friends”. These are the points I wish more bloggers understood, because attending blog-related events where bloggers can get to know each other only to result in having business cards stuffed in your face, in addition to being bragged to about their blog this and that, gets old and annoying fast, and I’d love to befriend bloggers in my area, but…I have too many paper cuts from their business cards. -.-

Char and I have considered having blog workshops including speeches, though I’m, like, mentally crawling into a corner and imagining all the embarrassing stories I’ll likely have to share because of the amount of anxiety I have about speaking. :s Clearly, you’re one brave soul. XD

I’m looking forward to your related posts. :)

Yeah, I did another one where I used some of the red too. ;)

I’ve seen a few blogger events advertised but they sadly seem like the real-life plugging and business-card-in-face situation that you so adequately described. :( One of my old friends who attended deliberately asked me a question at the end about how old-school bloggers can stop blogging from really changing to the way it is changing now. I said that there are a lot of us out there and we just have to keep doing what we’re doing, keep the dream alive kind of thing. Keep writing and staying true to ourselves. I can’t offer much more advice there but a lot of us blog because it’s something we truly enjoy, from the heart. We just have to keep doing that, because there are people out there who still do it. And there are professional bloggers who eventually find themselves sharing events from their personal lives (like getting married or having a child), which is a small but gradual start to have people delving back into that ‘blogging as a personal space’ notion.

I really like that question and have actually wondered it many, many times myself!

I’ve noticed a lot of food bloggers who have been ‘successful’ in their blogging ventures thank their readers for loving their personal stories so much. I actually really like the blogging tips from food bloggers, because they really encourage adding your own personality to your blog and sharing your personal stories, including the flaws—mostly because a lot of people in various groups I’m a part of on Facebook (I told myself I wouldn’t, and now look at me :|) say and think bloggers shouldn’t share personal stories, which only gets my hopes down.

I’ve been invited to a few blogging events, but have politely declined simply for that reason in particular. I’ve also been to events where I was given a press badge and supposed to cover the event, but wound up being treated horrendously by the companies attending it, who didn’t seem to understand that I was trying to find out more information about them so I could cover it; they got upset at me because I wouldn’t buy anything. (One of the organisers actually talked to several companies about this, though, and explained that their press team represented the event on the web and that our job was to do what we had been trying to do, so at least we were treated nicer thereafter…)

This gives me another perspective, though, in regards to the way I respond to others in the groups and help people start their own blogs: perhaps encouraging new bloggers (and maybe current ones who aren’t already doing so) to also focus on building relationships within the community and being themselves/not fearing being personal on their blogs will help to build more relationships and genuine bloggers who have the passion…because a lot of new bloggers quit due to not ‘making friends’ via ‘networking’. (I despise the “networking” term. :x)

So many talks! Even though you might not have been as prepared as you would have liked, I think it obviously made you realise that it would be better to talk on specific themes within blogging. Honestly, I think it would be a challenge for most people to talk about blogging in general, and you did it when you had other talks, so you should be proud. :D No doubt you probably made connections with many other people as well, which is a bonus. <3