Lessons for Speakers at Affiliate Summit

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I’m at Affiliate Summit in Las Vegas. It’s at the Wynn, one of my favorite hotels. Even the beverage service is artistically presented and the food is always good.


Here is my day one feedback.

Panels = Mediocrity

I do not like panels. I don’t like being on them or listening to them. There is an exception to this – that is that every single person on that panel is both very passionate about the topic and are experts. Like the SEO panel with Rae Hoffman-Dolan, Michael Gray I plan to attend.

In general panels are boring and the questions are bad. The panelists often talk to each other too much. Some even compete with each other. Even having Chris Brogan as the moderator can’t always save it.

Speak to your audience, not about YOU

I like hearing personal stories to illustrate a point, but if the entire presentation is about your life and business it gets old. It’s tough to avoid sounding vain. I’d much rather hear tips and then have one story that shows how you applied and benefitted from the tip. In other words, I don’t want it to be about you, I want you to apply what you know to help me.

The Hype Better Deliver

If you’re going to hype your presentation like mad, you get my hopes up. Then you market to me and you come across as sleasy. I’m going to name names on this one, Brian Williams who spoke about mobile marketing.

I texted Brian my email address to get his slides and I got on his marketing list plus a marketing call the same day. I didn’t see the slides. The content was so thin it was see-through. It was a marketing ploy.

When I commented about this to someone sitting next to me, he said, have you ever been to Affiliate Summit before? [I LAUGH]. I know Affiliate Summit is as much about the industry & networking as it is the sessions. You get all types.

We Don’t Know Your Industry’s Buzz Words

If you’re at an industry conference you can use that industry’s buzzwords and acronyms. So if you’re at an affiliate marketing conference you can assume we know the diffeence between a  publisher and a network. If you’re in a related indstry we might not know what exacly you’re talking about.
In one session on infomercials I kept trying to figure out all the buzzwords. It detracted from the presentation.

Today I’m hitting a lot of SEO sessions with people I’ve heard before and know it will be good.

Note: I do not hold myself up as a stellar example of speaking. I may know a lot but it’s not the same as giving a good presentation the audience will get value from. Even very good speakers can’t connect well with all audiences every time. Even the big names can be mediocre.

Looking forward to day 2 of Affiliate Summit tomorrow!


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