I wanted to write an entry about my experience speaking at the Atlanta Knitting Guild last week. It truly was a blast! I took the day off for work so that I wouldn’t have to stress about Atlanta traffic. I also got the oil changed in my car and ran a few other errands on my way. It was a great day (aside from the fact that BG threw up on me that morning, sorry tmi!) and considering that was how I started my day I was so pleased with how well things went.
Left half of the front seating. For some reason I forgot I had my camera in my bag and just used my iphone which isn’t the best for wide angle shots.
I arrived at 6:30 and set up my knit samples, pattern samples and business cards up on the table near where I would speak. I had also made a special little binder of 8×10 photos of my patterns, including various action shots that had not made it into the final pattern, a mini portfolio of-sorts. A lot of people arrived throughout the hour; I was surprised by how many people came. I know the AKG is big but I always try not to set any sort of expectations for these sorts of things, I stress less and wind up much happier. I was thrilled, loads of people with two big area’s of seating directly in front of me and then to the right. As far as I could tell it was mostly full. They had some shops set up in the back and Only Ewe and Cotton Too was selling my patterns at the event.
The section off to my right (shop tables behind).
As I have been one stressed out individual lately I didn’t plan on what I would talk about too much. I ran through a template in my head while I drove around all day, and when I got up to the podium to speak I asked for a show a hands for interest on 3 topics, Blogging, Podcasting and Designing. Most hands went up for designing (which I was pleased about because at this point that is what I was most prepared to speak about). I basically ran through a quick history about myself, a bit of background info and how I came up with my first design (motivation, inspiration etc) and I probably had that all finished in about 20 to 30 minutes (the time I had to speak for) and then I just opened it up for questions, and that is where the fun really began. I got loads of questions which I really enjoyed answering and I even got a few laughs out of everyone. I gauge success in speaking by Audience involvement. Questions count as involvement and interest in the topic, reactions such as laughing or even shouting something out etc.
Photo by AKG Jolie (Thanks!)
I had more detailed questions on blogging and podcasting, which I think are always fun to answer. Talking about how to increase comments (go comment on other blogs!) and what makes a blog more interesting to readers (photos help!). I was then asked what my inspiration was and my only answer could be, BG of course! Simple as that, she is my muse.
Afterwards I got to watch people walking around holding my patterns they had purchased, which always gives me a thrill (People buying my patterns? How cool! People knitting my patterns? Oh-my-gosh beyond cool!). During my talk people got to pass around my knit samples and photo book which I was very happy I had spent the time to make, the room was big so I had something to give each area so they could actually see my work while I spoke. I wasn’t sure how many had been exposed to my designs before.
Later I also got to speak with Joe from SWTC (the yarn company, corn and soy silk yarns etc) and he was getting us all excited about Stitches South and had brought a load of card samples for people to take home.
I must say the AKG is just wonderful, and Elizabeth who worked with me is terribly sweet and kind and most importantly laid back which always helps calm the nerves. I was thrilled to have the opportunity, thank you AKG!