I had a few replies and emails today after I said on Twitter that SearchFest will probably be the end of my time as a speaker on the SEO/SEM circuit. Probably should’ve just expressed myself through a blog post and avoided the 140-character limits, since there are several reasons I’m feeling this way:
1. I don’t have time to put together the kinds of presentations I like to do. This is purely my own problem; not blaming anyone but me. I spend a lot of time putting together my presentations. I always see and hear stories about speakers doing their PPTs the night before they speak … but I always take several weeks on each presentation. Don’t know why; it’s just the way I am.
And it’s somewhat stressful: I’ll be doing a 25-minute presentation on small business social media at SearchFest three weeks from now. A preso that long will take even more time than normal, but I haven’t even started and the event is only three weeks away. Too busy doing client work, working on my U2 book, and all the other stuff happening these days. I fear that SearchFest will not be getting my best work.
2. It feels repetitive. I’ll be coordinating four sessions at SMX West in March, and I also thought about pitching to speak on a panel or two. But in reviewing the open sessions, I felt like I had nothing new to say on any of the topics. It feels like I would’ve been saying the same things that others have already said better than me.
3. Right now, there’s little personal benefit in speaking for me. The main reason a lot of speakers want to speak at our industry conferences is to attract new consulting clients. But I’m not taking on new clients right now and probably won’t be for long time; I have a great and small set of clients I’m helping now, and have recently committed to more work with Search Engine Land and Sphinn. So, “at least I might get some new clients” isn’t a justification for speaking.
So that’s pretty much it. I’ll keep doing GetListed.org Local University events as long as they’ll let me, and I’ll keep coordinating/moderating sessions at SMX as long as Chris and Danny want me to. And I’d love to continue attending other industry events, because hanging out with friends and chatting is just awesome fun. But the speaking part? I’m gonna try to eliminate that as much as possible … at least until I have something new to say and enough time to say it well.