I was a little tense about my seminar.
I’m a decent public speaker. Actually I’m quite good. I can talk it up with the best of them. I have the gift of gab even though I’ve never actually kissed the Blarney Stone (I am part Irish).. but still.. they flew me out here to do this.. contrary to some guys I’ve dated, I DO know what I’m talking about.. but.. just was hoping that people would get something out of what I have to say. Plus, once I got the program I found that there was a full page about me and my seminar. I was feeling some pressure here.. however, I was quite happy that the picture of ME wasn’t too large.
Saturday morning arrived.. I got up early enough to shower and such and inadvertantly discover that I have mislabelled my shampoo bottles and ended up putting body lotion on my hair instead of conditioner. Well, at least it would be soft… but….I would imagine this would also have led to a really not very attractive greasy look… so, had to re-wash my hair. Grrrrrrrreat. This day was turning out to be quite stellar thus far. I headed down to the restaurant for breakfast and take my laptop with me for two reasons.. number one is that the internet in my room sucks and also, since I’m eating alone, I figured I could read stuff and not look like a pathetic loser who has no one to eat with. I prefer looking like a pathetic geek who is inseparable from her computer. Hey, that porn’s not going to download itself….
I ordered the special as they have free breakfast coupons for me.. I just pay for my coffee. The coffee is just OK. It’s weakass. Here’s the thing.. I grew up drinking my mom’s coffee… and her coffee is STRONG. Like, Lisa Douglas from Green Acres strong. So strong that my sister named it “The Death Brew”. So strong that you figure you will be bouncing off the walls for days (here’s the tricky part… it’s DECAF. LOL) So strong that it makes Chuck Norris wince. Regardless, I’m used to coffee with flavour. Not fancy flavour.. just COFFEE flavour. So, the coffee is no better than the pitiful coffee flavoured water I brewed in my room. *sigh* But it will do. My waitress was very funny and cute and friendly.. took my order and made sure that I was never out of the coffee flavoured H20… Breakfast arrived quickly.. Eggs overeasy, crispy bacon, rye toast and the obligatory hashbrowns. I made short work of it as I am starved (when am I NOT?) and went back to the room to get ready.
On the way I asked the front desk about the shuttle service to the convention centre… this is how I will be getting to my seminar. Shuttle service starts at 5pm apparently. My seminar is at 10.30am. Michelle is in a meeting till at LEAST 10.30am. Yikes. The lovely girl at the front desk offered to call a taxi for me… and she did.. and yes, he can come to pick me up in a half hour.. which is good, because there is only ONE taxi in the whole town. AND he only works from 7am to 11pm.. which will rule out some late night rides for me..
I got to the centre and head up to the Jack Pine room to set up my fancy ass powerpoint presentation that I’ve worked ever so hard on… and there’s no projector. I had asked for a projector to hook into my computer.. and was told there was one. Not in this room anyway. I ask one of the staff there.. and she tells me, no, they do not have a projector.. just an overhead. Grrrrrrrrrrreat. I can’t do anything other than laugh. It just figures. Well, I set up my computer so that hopefully people can see it (thank goodness my screen is 17 inches) and go to get a coffee. It was somewhat better than the coffee at the hotel so it cheered me up slightly. I go over my presentation and.. wait. So far, I’d had the hair incident, the ride incident and now the projector. I am feeling a wee bit like these are bad signs…
Blake arrives and I briefly show him my powerpoint. Basically, he says.. I should do my presentation and he’ll have a story for whatever I’m talking about. He really does, too. After all.. he’s done a lot in his life.. knows a lot of people.. and has had many adventures. And he holds the Order of Canada.
Essentially, my presentation is about marketing and branding. Companies use branding all the time to market their “product”.. but I find that artists confuse what their “product” IS.. It’s NOT the CD… it’s themselves. I basically ask them a bunch of questions about what makes them unique… assuming that every single act is on the same playing field, why should your average country listener want to be their fan instead of the next guy? I also give suggestions about how once they know who they are and what their brand is.. how to market that without spending a lot of money.. basically using social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace…).We had a lot of great questions and from everything we heard after the fact, people enjoyed the seminar and got something out of it. Answered a lot of questions, gave out some contact information.. My “work” here is done. The day certainly went a lot better than it seemed like it might.. (did that make sense?)
I headed back to the hotel to get ready for the President’s Dinner – which Blake was hosting. Once I’m back in my room I attempt to do some stuff on the internet, but unfortunately the connection SUCKED. Checked with the front desk and they suggested I move rooms to the lower floor. I check out the “new” room with my laptop… and it IS a new room!! It’s all refurbished and pretty! Yes, the internet is WAY better here! (actually it was, but I had already decided that even if it wasn’t, I was moving.. bad internet is way more acceptable in a pretty room…)
The dinner was a ton of fun.. I got to see some great people that I hadn’t seen in YEARS.. the Cockrum sisters, for example.. who did a fabulous job singing the grace.. just beautiful. Got to see my buddy Dave Baker.. who picked up a few awards. George Canyon performed, among many others.. lots of SK artists sang and were awesome.. and of course Blake hosted and was hilarious fun. It was a good night!
But the best part of the evening – aside from having my picture taken with a mountie and the Cockrums.. oh, and the fact that I ate a ton of roast pork.. was that I could finally relax and know that I did a pretty good job. Maybe I’m on to something… ?
Life: Having fun!
Love: I love roast pork, the people of Saskatchewan, and public speaking.
Pants: Nope, I wore a kilt. And then a long skirt for the dinner..