If this wasn’t our first time using power tools in front of an audience…it was definitely our first time using power tools inside a secret garden in Santa Monica.
A few Saturdays ago, Ryan and I demonstrated how to make a vertical clay pot garden at the grand opening of Potted @Lazybones on Main Street. (You can read about the nervous lead-up right here.) The demo went well! The crowd was friendly, and we think we covered the instructions with a balance of detail, brevity, and entertainment value. True to our contrasting styles, I prepared and printed notes in advance, and Ryan improv’ed with flair. When it came time to arrange succulents in our pots, Warren Keller rocked the house.
If you’d like to make your own, check out the full DIY. Meanwhile, here are 5 things our public speaking adventure taught us.
1. Invite friends! Seeing familiar faces in the audience felt like aloe water poured directly onto our red-hot nerves. Our friends Laju, Jennifer (of TerraTrellis fame; remember when we toured her garden?), and David (father of our neighbor!) showed up and they were our beautiful lifelines in the audience. Also, ahem, they were able to take photos and video. Then we celebrated over great food and drinks at Lula Cocina Mexicana!
2. Near the start, summarize what you’re about to talk about. This might feel obvious to you, but it wasn’t obvious to us when we first received this valuable advice from Debra Prinzing, before our WestEdge presentation back in 2013. Summarizing at the top provides a sense of where you’re going, which helps to keep everyone focused.
3. Raffle stuff off if you can. At the end of the presentation, we gave away the whole potted shebang! And Warren generously gave away two of his rare, wonderful succulents. Drawing names for prizes can make the mood in the room (or garden) reach peak excitement.
4. Visuals are key. We brought two long metal boards and, using magnets, affixed photos of our own pot installations, our logos, and instructions. Images of the finished projects helped to illustrate why we were there during the intro, and the huge potential for this design. After the presentation, we were able to refer to the images while answering questions.
5. Create an oohs-and-ahhs moment before the end. When we needed to test the drain holes we’d just drilled, we brought our not-quite-finished pots in front of the audience and poured out the contents of our watering can into the top pot. Then we watched the water trickle down like magic, bringing everyone’s energy up a notch.
Below, check out more photos from this fabulous day!