Wednesday, October 12, 2011

They came, they saw, they bought

Monday night I did my first live presentation on the book to a friendly group of Chicago actors.

First, I was relieved that the slides looked great and the technology worked flawlessly -- I ran the presentation from my iPad, hooked up to the flat screen TV, using my iPhone as a remote (which also allowed me to view my speech notes.

As for the content, it could not have gone better. I had two hours to fill, so it was more of a workshop than a speech. I kept it interactive, with group participation and exercises and lots of Q&A. And I customized it a lot, creating several big sections related specifically to actors.

That's something that struck me on the radio show: these lessons are for everybody. And it occurred to me that actors already possess the skills and training they need to succeed in all walks of life -- at their day jobs, marketing events, how they present themselves to agents and how they conduct their everyday relationships. The content really is very broad.

So the audience was engaged and I think it was a very informative and fun two hours. Most surprising is that people wanted to buy the book. Actors! People who aren't known for having a lot of excess cash lying around.

I actually ran out of books to sell. I didn't bring a ton of them, thinking I wouldn't need them, and it would be presumptuous to assume so many people would want it. I'm sure part of it was goodwill from a friendly audience, but I'd like to think that the presentation itself actually helped sell the book, which bodes well for future engagements.

The next one is a webinar for my university's alumni association. Once I get that presentation nailed, I will have a solid stump speech that can go anywhere.

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