My #TFT14 Experience

The first time I experienced TFT (Tomorrows Future Today) was back in June 2012. I could identify with it immediately, not only was the content free but it was crowdsourced. This took care of the two things that I always had challenges with in physical conferences:
1.    Being able to afford it (both in cost and time when my employer valued both…)
2.    Seeing quality content at said conference. I would only get to choose what I could see depending on availability

So in 2012 I tuned into TFT12 and  I was able to see a few of the presenters “live” and was able to view the rest of the content at my convenience after the fact.

The following year in June 2013 I again consumed the TFT13 experience. It was after which that I decided that when it came around again that I would get out of the “cheap seats” and build a presentation of my own. The value in doing this is different for every presenter. For me it was about being a part of something larger than myself. It was “putting it out there” for right or wrong and getting some feedback on the content I would present. There is risk in doing this for some people they are worried that after all the effort is put in that it will be met with criticism. I have found that more often I learned more from doing things the wrong way rather than having everything go right.

In the fall of 2013 there was a request for presenters for a 2 part TFT online conference. The first 24 hours was slated for February while the second for June. I knew that I needed to be a part of this and submitted my presentation “What the Hell is IT Doing?” which was a look at some lesser utilized process which would improve the customer experience.

Only recently in the past year had I started to present content in a physical capacity. Initially I believed that the online presentation format would take away that “nervousness” of public speaking and might be easier to manage that presenting in front of others. I had my presentation finished more or less the way I wanted (never fully satisfied) on the morning of TFT and the countdown to present was on. After delivering my content I was surprised at how I felt it went, the best way I can explain the difference in presenting online vs. in person was similar to what people who perform live theater and film explain as their ability to connect with the audience. Aside from the questions I received at the end I did not directly interact with anyone. I had decided not to look at any social media streams during the presentation so that I could keep on track. The other major difference was the timing of the content delivery. When delivering content in person, I found that 45 minutes might be tight, however for my presentation I went through the content faster than I had thought I might (there’s that learning curve again)

When it was all done I was able to sit back and enjoy the other presenters once again. The nice thing that even with other events being held simotaneously on the same date the TFT content was recorded and will be available in a multitude of formats for consumption down the road.  I look forward seeing the next group of presentations in June, you can vote for them here

A huge thank you to all those who made this event possible:

·         +Chris Dancy the founder/creator of TFT,
·         The team from the Brighttalk,
·         The sponsors Cherwell Software CA Technologies and BMC
·         +Zoe James (who really pulled it all together) to logistically keep the cats herded
·         And the other presenters for broadening our horizons

I thank you for this opportunity and would gladly do this again

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