Making randomness work at #LLBS

Last night I was invited to talk at the Late Late Breakfast Show at a bar called Lunar Blue in Leicester Square and it was anything but a regular Tuesday night.

The idea of LLBS is that a number of speakers each give a presentation for 7 minutes with 7 slides. Primarily the event is about putting a bunch of great people together, with a view to networking, but “leaving the elevator pitch at the door”.

late late breakfast show logoI was due on third, after William Montgomery and Lucy Payne. Before I went on I was sat chatting to LLBS regular Steve Trister, who helps people improve their presentation skills using humour (he’s a comedian by trade).

I’m used to giving presentations, but relatively new to this format (ie beer involved) and Steve said, “be yourself and make sure you smile. People always forget to smile.” A good tip.

William’s presentation was about the topic of happiness – ie how to get it , both individually and collectively – and used a couple of good visual psychometric tests to get people involved. His pearl of wisdom was the to get happiness you have to know where you want to go in life and set reasonably attainable goals. I’ve long since realised that age 36 I’m not going to be a Premiership footballer, so I’ll go with that.

Next up was Lucy who spoke about embracing a “f<ck up” to learn from it in life. She pretty much had everyone hanging on her Welsh lilting voice, only a tiny bit more off her stride by the fact that the tech has started to royally f<ck up and Bernie had to manually do her slides for her. She got through it well.

I was next to speak and with Steve’s advice in my head I donned my mic and took to the stage. At that precise moment, the screen went blue and the tech, well, royally screwed up. During the 5 minutes or so fiddling with laptops, people started chatting and returned to the bar.

Once the laptops were (kind of) working again, Bernie whipped up the crowd and I was on. I wouldn’t have said it was the best presentation in the world, but I got through it, talking about blogging, AudioFuel running music and how I got involved in Janathon.

Realising during William and Lucy’s talks that I didn’t really have a theme, I had a brainwave that it was all about coincidences. The coincidence of meeting AudioFuel co-founder Sean, meeting event organiser Bernie, the extreme ironing thing from years ago and in fact pretty much my whole career. And that’s the whole point of business networking – making coincidences happen.

After my 7 minutes, it was down to Julie to do her set on being remarkable (“don’t be middle of the road: you’ll get run over”) and the always engaging Lee Smallwood, who spoke about finding your brand advocates, or “wee-fluencers”. Credit to Julie did half her presentation without a Powerpoint at all.

Bernie, who’d been an effervescent MC and kept people engaged throughout, said it was the most traumatic night of his life, but people patiently put up with the glitches and made the most of the night (apart from one guy who tweeted it was the worst event he’d ever been to; another replied that he could just leave if he wanted to).

Overall, I’m glad I went – I made a couple of new connections: coincidences in the making. If you fancy coming along to LLBS in the future, join TagTribe.

Oh and here’s the promo video…