How lucky were we to have the amazing Kary Oberbrunner speak with us at our July meeting. The wonders of the internet and modern technology can bring outstanding international speakers right into our meetings – even if it is 3:30 in the morning where they are.

I for one got a lot out of what he had to share, as navigating the publishing world can be quite daunting, and I was able offer a few great ideas to my publishers who were very impressed.

However one of the things that struck a bit of a chord with me is he mentioned on more than one occasion the need to collect contact details from others so they can be used to help you with getting your message out there. And while he was advocating email addresses as the most effective way of communicating with your potential audience, there is still a place for Facebook, because whatever it takes (as speakers we are all about developing positive relationships with everyone we encounter), you never know where it will lead.

I am surprisingly quite new to Facebook and actually had to receive Facebook training from HarperCollins. So now I am away with a whiz and a bang and wonder why I took so long to log on. One thing I have noticed though (its not limited to Facebook as I find it on blogs too), people will leave comments without so much as a hello and goodbye.

You wouldn’t dream of walking up to a friend or a stranger, stating your point, then wandering off as quickly as you came. In real life we have social niceties. We greet with a handshake or hug, throw in a few pleasantries about the weather, then make our point and finish off by offering our best wishes and another hug or handshake.

On the internet I try to do the same. I always start my comments with a hello. Despite a lot of people using non de plumes, often a quick look on their ‘About Page’ will give you their real name. They have put it out there and so I use it. It makes them know I think they are important enough for me to find out about them and they remember me for it. If I don’t know their name they I still start off with a cheery “Hi there.” It wouldn’t feel right to do it any other way. Then I always sign off my name, so they know who to remember. It makes it so much more personal that way and in that moment we are in a real life relationship that seems so rare in the fast paced world of the internet.

Once I got home from hearing Kary talk to us, I was keen to find out more, so I looked him up on Facebook. It was really easy. There is only one Kary Oberbrunner online and his page leaves you in no doubt that it was him. He had a post sharing with his friends that he was going to talk to the NSANZ and said the nicest things about us. So I left him a message:

“Thanks Kary. A lot of timely wisdom, I think I will be awake at 3:30am just thinking about all I learnt and making plans! Cheers Sarah : o )”

And he replied to me! The thing is we exchanged that all important contact information. He knows who I am and can find out what I do. He will definitely have captured my information and I will most certainly find out about every new thing he has going on. He is the kind of guy to make sure this will happen.

As speakers we need to take every opportunity get our name heard by everyone, as opportunity often finds its way to your door in the most unexpected ways.

Did you thank Kary? It’s not too late.

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