In my very first post, “Welcome to Wizard News,” I mentioned how important Salesforce User Groups were to me on learning the Salesforce platform.A Salesforce User Group is a vital resource for every Salesforce professional. There are groups that specialize on the Admins and developer groups. Some Users groups, like the one I belong to, are for both Admins and developers.There are over 190 User Groups spread across 54 countries. Chances are there’s a user group for you near by. If you’re not a member of one, go join one. Then, volunteer to speak!
Seriously, you should speak
Here are reasons I’ve been told why people don’t want to speak at their User Group:
- I don’t know as much as everyone else
This may be true, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows everything you do! We all come from different industries and use Salesforce subtly differently. Even if half the room knows the same information you’re presenting on doesn’t mean it’s no valuable to the other half of the room!
- I’m not certified
You don’t need to be certified to have something great to share. I’ve been presenting at User Groups for the last few years and at Dreamforce 2012 and 2013 and I only JUST got my certifications. Not being certified is not a reason to not share.
- I don’t have anything to talk about
I can understand this. You don’t have to “teach” people something new. This is about sharing. You have something to share – everyone does.
- I’m scared of public speaking
I really can understand this. The first time I spoke at my user group my hands were sweating and I’m pretty sure my voice cracked a few times. I STILL get nervous when I speak. At my last user group meeting, I referenced our get together as a “movie” instead of a “meeting.” If I can flub up and still get up and share – so can you!
It’s about Sharing
It’s about sharing. The best presentations are people sharing a story. I could be a story about almost anything.
- Project Successes
We all have had projects we’ve succeeded with and are proud of. Share it! It doesn’t matter if it’s something many other people have done. Share your success. What did you do? What made it a success? What would you recommend for people who start something similar?
- Project Failures
Project Successes are fantastic. Project Failures are even more important. I’ve learned more about Salesforce by failing than succeeding. Based on what I know about the platform, I’ve failed… a lot. Failure is an opportunity to learn. What did you try to do? Why did it fail? What did you wish you did differently?
- Best Practices
There’s a reason sessions like “Habits of a Salesforce Admin” is so popular. Even if you’re been an admin for years, there’s always something new to learn. Sometimes, the old things you learned could use a bit of a refresher. Have you discovered a best practice for you or your company? Maybe you’ve recently learned about a best practice? This is great information to share with your user group.
- General Experiences
After a recent User Group meeting, I joined a group of members for a little post discussion. The conversation turned to “How did you become a Salesforce Admin?” I sat and listened to 8 of these great people tell their story. Some were short, some were longer, all of them interesting. Each one of them worth sharing with a group of a whole.
“How did I became a Salesforce Admin.” is a perfect story to share. Did you take a Salesforce certification test? Did you pass? Share that experience. Did you fail? Even BETTER experience to share.
Stories are important to us. It helps identify who we are and how we got to where we are. Sharing these stories with our user group helps us build rapport and teaches each other new perspectives.
Questions To Answer
Every story asks and answers some questions. When you thinking of what to say for you presentation here are some questions you should ask yourself:
- Who am I? Where do I work? How long have I been using Salesforce?
- What did I do?
- Why did I do it?
- What did I wish I did?
- What I would like you to do.
Okay that last one isn’t a question. It’s a call of action. Every story to should have some sort of call of action to the audience. Here’s an example of a story:
Hello. I’m Brian Kwong. I’m currently the Salesforce Specialist at Healthgrades and I’ve been using Salesforce since 2007. I started speaking at my user group in 2012. My first time I shared a project that would automatically update a series of Check boxes for products on the account page while replacing the data with Assets. I was proud since it would collapse a large section of the Account. The second time I shared my story of how I got into Salesforce Development as an Admin.
I shared my story after being urged to by our user group leader. I was looking for a way to contribute and give back to the community that helped me learn and grow. I was very nervous and stumbled many times during my talk, but it was a fantastic experience. I received some great feedback from other user group members and even some suggestions on how to make my project more successful. This is an experience every user group member should experience. So stop, think of a Salesforce story and go share!
A Note From The Editor
A little secret about WizardNews posts. I hate writing Post Titles. I struggle with trying to write titles that are informative, accurate, and grab your attention. One of the more difficult parts is not to interject my sense of humor into the title – too much. For example, alternative titles for today’s post included:
- Everyone has a story – Share!
- Everyone should speak at their user group
- Join, Speak Up and Share!
- Insert witty User group pun here
What other titles can you come up with for this week’s blog post?