I was quietly minding my own business the other day when Lisa Braithwaite from the blog Speak Schmeak reached out to me via email and asked me if I’d be willing to help her to get the word out about some upcoming (almost) free public speaking training that’s going to be held up in Los Angles, California on June 20th, 2009.
I’m always a sucker for (almost) free training, so I asked her for more information.
The History Of Presentation Camp
So if you’ve ever been to a conference or some sort of training in the past, this event is nothing like those events. To understand how this all got started, you need to go back to BarCamp.
BarCamp is an international network of user generated conferences Ã¢â‚¬” open, participatory workshop-events, whose content is provided by participants. The first one of these was held on August 19-21, 2005 – so you can see that its not really been around for all that long.
PresentationCamp is a specific type of BarCamp – this type of conference focuses on Public Speaking topics.
How Does All Of This Work?
This might seem just a bit chaotic when I describe it to you, but folks who have attended these things swear that it works. If you’ve ever been to a big formal conference, then you know that you are handed a pre-printed agenda at the door and you know exactly what’s going to be discussed where and when. PresentationCamp works just a bit differently.
The first difference is that everyone who attends PresentationCamp is asked to participate either by presenting or facilitating a session – no dozing in the back of the room here. Additionally, the conference doesn’t start with a pre-planned agenda.
Instead, the sessions are proposed and scheduled each day by attendees. You start to get a feel for how dynamic this is. If you’ll trust me that this actually works, you can see that hot topics and issues of great concern to all bubble up to the top. Likewise, there really are no boring sessions – they get voted away.
What’s Going To Happen At PresentationCampLA?
First off, the reason for going would be to learn about and discuss the most current topics facing people who speak in public today. This is going to be (hey, it’s in LA – what do you expect?) an intense ad hoc gathering of speaking folks to share, present, network, learn, laugh, and discuss.
As we’ve discussed, there is no agenda. Instead, everyone who is interested in leading a session provides a brief (that’s about a minute) pitch in the morning before things start.Ã‚Â Attendees then vote and those sessions receiving the highest votes are put on the schedule and groups form for intense learning. This will ensure that the participants get the most out of their experience.
The organizers will be keeping a close eye on who shows up. Depending on the mix of folks who are there and the participants’ skill level and interest, they may set up separate tracks for: Fundamentals, Advanced Skills, Professional Speakers, Coaches.
What’s interesting to me is that this is not the first time that this has been done. PresentationCamp has been successfully hosted in San Francisco , Seattle and Palo Alto.
I’m Interested, Now What Do I Do?
The best things in life are not free – to attend this event is going to cost you $10.Ã‚Â If you are going to be in CA, SoCal or the LA area on June 20th (or if you can get there), then here are the details that you need to know:
Saturday, June 20, 2009 |Ã‚Â 10am-6pm
BlankSpaces |Ã‚Â 5405 Wilshire Blvd. |Ã‚Â Ã‚Â Los Angeles, CAÃ‚Â Ã‚Â 90036
If you’re going to go, then they need to know that you’re coming so go ahead and register. You can get all of the details on this event by visiting their web site at:
Hey – it’s only $10, just how much thinking does this take? If you are even half way considering going – DO IT. The info that you get will be great, but the contacts that you can make will be even better.
Have a great time!