Having spent the last year and a half speaking to audiences from 10 to 1,000, I am constantly oscillating between thinking I am a fraud who doesn't know what he's talking about and thinking I am the most important thinker of our time. I rarely actually get that full of myself but there is a certain amount of ego required to get up in front of a bunch of busy people and tell them that what you have to say is more important than whatever else they'd be doing otherwise.
Glass Half Empty
One of the most helpful things I've done in the past year is to interrogate people who are harboring criticisms of my work. Speaking to a group can be nerve-racking so as long as you didn't bomb the organizers are positive. I've started pressing organizers to find out what they didn't like and gotten some very useful information of late.
You need a designer.
Early on my slides looked like this:
I love the gray-brown I chose and it even passed my wife's sniff test as well. It took an experienced trainer looking at this and having the guts to tell me how bad it looked for me to finally hire a designer and get to slides that look like this:
I wish [the presentation] were more tailored to our work setup.
A growing tech staffing firm recently included me as part of their training. I pressed them for constructive criticism and was pointed toward a great way to add value for them and other clients. Before their next training, I'll meet with a member of their team to come up with specific ways of tweaking their digital environment so that the solutions I present to digital distraction are specific to their setup. It seems obvious now but it took questioning the "presentation was great" to be handed a useful strategy for attracting repeat business.
Glass Half Full
An acceleration has been happening lately as Digital Detangler has continued to grow. The following are a few ways growth has led to new great opportunities.
1) Shalene is working for Digital Detangler! Shalene France Gray is providing much needed support on what we're calling engagement. She's already proven herself to be a huge asset by taking over booking speaking engagements. She's also been pivotal in restoring some order by saying things like, "it seems like you should keep event details all in one place, the calendar seems like a good place for that." Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, feel free to drop her a note to say hi.
2) I've been selected as one of five speakers at Wellness 360, a popular corporate wellness conference hosted by the Cleveland Clinic. I'm looking forward to injecting my message of intentional digital environments into the wellness conversation.
3) I was on the radio in Nashville. In case you weren't tuned in at the right time, here's a link to the show. I am the second person interviewed on the show so my part starts at about minute 34.
4) Digital Detangler: A Guide to Mindful Technology Use was profiled on MindfulTechnology.com. The book has also been entered in several national contests so hopefully you'll be hearing more about that soon!
5) RescueTime published a piece I wrote breaking down some of the best tips I have for taking back control over your digital environment. As a huge fan of RescueTime (I even interviewed for a job with them a few eons ago), I was honored to be featured on the site.