edie clarke speakerThere is something incredibly invigorating about stepping onto a stage, or in this case, logging onto a virtual platform to participate in an event as significant as the Black Business Olympics. This August, I had the distinct pleasure of doing just that. The topic? Embracing YouTube to unlock your channel’s potential. The twist? For the first time, I would be presenting without my trusty slides.

A New Challenge

Slides have been my trusted allies in countless presentations. They act as my visual cues, my roadmap, guiding me through the labyrinth of thoughts and ideas I intend to share with my audience. But this time, the challenge was to present without them. At first, the prospect was daunting. How could I possibly keep track of all the points I wanted to make, let alone deliver them in a coherent and engaging way?

Embracing the Opportunity

After the initial wave of nervousness subsided, I realized that this was an incredible opportunity. It was a chance to step outside my comfort zone and fully embrace the topic at hand. So, I did. I ran with it. I allowed my passion for YouTube and its potential to guide my words rather than relying on pre-written bullet points on a slide.

Rediscovering Fun in Presenting

The result was nothing short of exhilarating. Without slides to hide behind, I found myself more engaged with my topic. I found myself genuinely having fun. And isn’t that what presenting should be about?

black business olympics with edieclarke

Reflecting on the Experience

In a surprising turn of events, for the first time almost ever, I rewatched the entire presentation and didn’t cringe. Usually, watching myself present is akin to walking into a fully packed in-person networking event – somewhat uncomfortable and slightly embarrassing. But this time, I saw someone who was confident, knowledgeable, and passionate about their subject matter. I saw someone who wasn’t just delivering a presentation but engaging in a conversation with their audience.

Final Thoughts

This experience at the Black Business Olympics taught me a valuable lesson: Slides are a tool, not a crutch. While they can be helpful, they aren’t necessary for a successful presentation. What truly matters is your connection with the audience, your passion for the topic, and your ability to communicate your ideas effectively.

As I look forward to future presentations, I will carry this lesson with me. I may still use slides from time to time, but I now know that I don’t need them to deliver a powerful, engaging presentation. After all, it’s not about the slides; it’s about the message and the connection you make with your audience.

Want to see how I did for yourself? Check me out here, the video starts 22:50 in where my presentation begins.

If you’d like me to speak at your event, here’s a link to my one sheet.