After a blissful night in a comfy bed, not taken up by a starfish sleeping child, it was time to get up and dressed for second day at Britmums Live. Suddenly the thought of reading my keynote was hovering above my head again. As more and more people approached me to ask how I was feeling about reading it, I started to get more nervous. I decided to concentrate on the sessions I was looking forward to and focus on the keynote when it was time.
Sadly we didn’t attend Ben’s keynote, we both lost someone close to us last month and I know for a fact I wouldn’t have been able to hold it together if I had attended. I understand it was a hugely inspirational keynote and I am hoping someone filmed it for when I feel ready to watch it.
The next session we attended was ‘How To Be an Agent of Change: Advocacy and charity campaigns’ which was a session we had both been looking forward to. The panel involved were Lindsay, Camila, Chris and Hayley, all incredibly inspiring women in their individual fields. Each have used their voices and social platform for good and left me more motivated in my mission to make a change in the world. I’ve watched Lindsay’s vlogs before, but when her montage started on the big screen a lump came to my throat, it’s great seeing people do good in the world when there is so much darkness. When Hayley started talking I felt tears prick my eyes. Hayley is a lady I am truly thankful for meeting, I consider Hayley a friend and am so proud of what she has achieved.
The next session we headed to was Nigel’s ‘Hands-on video session, part 2: Using your smartphone to create terrific video‘. Nigel is a great speaker and really makes his audience feel at ease. It took away some handy tips to help us improve our vlogs and encourage you to check out his session notes via Britmums if you couldn’t make his session.
After a quick cup of tea I headed to Julia’s photography session. I’ve been using my camera in manual mode ever since the awesome Jay and her session at Cybher, but I wanted some extra tips about use of light to help me photograph products for review posts. I found some of the tips a bit basic for me, but perfect for me to share with C as she’s just starting to learn how to use my camera.
C and I then decided to have a little wander around the brand lounges. I discovered some gorgeous food in the Morrison’s lounge, we’ll forget the fact that it had bacon in and I’m a “vegetarian”. Lunch was soon served and I was left a bit panicky as there was nothing I liked or could eat, so a quick trip to the local Starbucks and I was soon happy, seated in the outside seating area.
Lunch was followed by a fantastic session by Greg, called ‘YouTube: Change your view of it, understand what to do on it, and know what it wants from you to get engagement ‘. It was such a useful session as C and I are currently working on improving our YouTube content and making the most of our channel. Some tips from the session, in my own words.
- Make sure you are using annotations and linking to your website and social media platforms
- Create a clean branded end slate, possibly with additional videos
- Use a tripod or a shoulder mount
- Be passionate about what you are creating
- It doesn’t matter what equipment you use to film, as long as you understand the importance of lighting
- Download and read the YouTube Creators Playbook
- Use Pond Fire and Audio Jungle for music
For the next hour we sat outside so that I could prepare myself mentally for standing up in front of lots of people and sharing my words. I wasn’t nervous about the reading part, it was the fact I’d practiced engaging with the audience. I didn’t want to read my post flatly, I wanted to inspire people and make a connection.
I knew from the post Britmums had shared that we were second up. As they called our names, Lauren and I headed to the stage. Lauren read her paragraph so well, as I stepped up to say my name my voice caught in my throat. A millisecond of panic and then I was reading my post. Someone had told me that you couldn’t see people when you stood on the stage, but you can, you can make out everyone’s faces. I got through my post with only one hiccup, which I was told nobody noticed. As I headed to kiss Clara the clapping filled my heart. I’d done it and I was relieved.
As I listened to the rest of the posts I started to wonder why I’d been chosen. Everyone else was so inspiring, emotionally touching and beautiful. I took to twitter and instantly regretted doubted myself. Congratulatory messages filled our timeline as people spoke of how inspiring it was. I couldn’t help but smile, I had hoped that my post would leave at least one person thinking about changing the way they look at life. It was an experience I’d love to do again, standing in front of people, sharing your thoughts is even more cathartic than writing them down.
Some light relief was supplied by the fab musical Good Enough Mums Club, before we headed to the door, collecting our goodie bag on the way. The journey home was full of eager discussion about the future of our blog and video making. So many ideas were brain stormed and plans were made to do things we’d been putting off. Britmums Live 2014 was a great weekend full of old friends, new friends and learning. This year’s experience was very different to last year, but we had no regrets in attending. Clara has already mentioned us going next year.