Speaking to an audience has gotten easier for me in the past several years. With 24 years of experience in sales, you get to the point where the butterflies subside, especially after you make a mountain of mistakes along the way.

There’s still a bit of anxiety though and these opportunities are always learning experiences because mastering the art of presentation is a key to business success and I had chance to speak a three gatherings recently.

We’re getting ready to launch the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce website this week. Prior to the launch, I spoke to their Board of Directors for a sneak preview at their offices in Kingsport on May 20th. A group of 50 or so people were in the room that day and I had 10 minutes to deliver the quick tour.

daveadclubOn Thursday, May 16th, I was invited to speak to the Tri-Cities Metro Advertising Federation in Johnson City on the subject of Social Media. Mary Ellen Miller was also speaking that day and we had a chance to present several new ideas to the area’s advertising and marketing professionals.

This was a small group, but it was a significant gathering of peers at the Bank of Tennessee Financial offices in Johnson City. This swanky conference room overlooks State of Franklin road and the board room there has some of the coolest presentation tech that I’ve seen lately.

With windows all around, I lowered the screens in the circular office and presented a 15 minute presentation before about 35 agency reps, banks, hospitals, public relations professionals and small businesses.

My presentation was a collection of social media tools from our newspaper network, a review of the tools reshaping the media landscape and review of some of the ideas our clients are implementing using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other tools.

My main theme was the fact that social media isn’t all that new, citing our human desire for interaction and authenticity in conversations, but the the tools have certainly changed and we reviewed those ideas together.

Some of the interesting points of conversations from the session included how to effectively separate personal and professional identities using social media and how to ensure productivity in the workplace with these tools proliferating our lives.

Mary Ellen Miller did a great job introducing a lively collection of social media public relations examples and has been very successful re-branding herself after experience in television news, magazines and leading a PR firm at a local tech company. Her discussions on Social Media will continue on WJHL over the next several weeks.

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Special thanks to Sarah Clevinger with The Bank of Tennessee and Jessica Bland with The Corporate Image for organizing this event. It helped me to sharpen my Keynote skills and I enjoyed sharing the new ideas about Social Media.

I’ll continue that discussion with clients over the next several weeks including a presentation to the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce tomorrow – June 1.

My last presentation was caught on video and that gives me a chance to critique the work.

The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce sponsors a Fourth Friday Breakfast every month at MeadowView Resort and Convention Center and they had me on the agenda for their session on May 22nd.

This morning meeting is open to all Chamber members to discuss business and encourage networking opportunities (plus a free breakfast) and it was up to me to open up the new Chamber website and give another peek before an audience of 250 local business people.

We had a good session and although I felt like my presentation was 20 minutes, it turned out to be only 9 minutes and that’s good. Most resources say people have at most a 30 to 60 second attention span and considering the early meeting time it would be very easy to fall asleep.

I had a good time speaking to all of these groups and look forward to other opportunities in the future.

Here’s the video from the Chamber of Commerce presentation.

Kingsport Chamber of Commerce Web Presentation from David Cate on Vimeo.