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Lotusphere Idol! @ Lotusphere 2009 - Thoughts from a former contestant...
11/14/2008 01:13 PM by Chris Toohey
Last year saw Andy Pedisich turn Lotusphere's Kelly Clarkson, winning the first Lotusphere Idol!. As a contestant (as seen in that post's "OMGMYHEADISHUGE" pic), I was absolutely thrilled when I read over at Ed Brill's site that Lotusphere Idol! will make a return session at Lotusphere 2009!
There was an amazing benefit from being a participant in this session ("contest" I don't think is the right term really...): I got to experience first-hand what it's like standing in front of a Lotusphere crowd. For those who know me, I think it's safe to say that - how should I put this - ... I'm not shy. Yeah, that'll work. I'm about the furthest thing from being "shy". But as evident in the "OMGMYHEADISHUGE" pic, you'll notice that I have one hand in my pocket... which is one tell-tale sign of a nervous speaker!
Just like Lotusphere itself - which has this amazing effect on all involved in that it enables geeks to crank up their geekdom to levels often thought unattainable - speaking at Lotusphere in any capacity is an experience that I don't think you can be prepared for by simply holding in-company training sessions, speaking at Lotus User Groups, etc.: it's an absolute unique experience. And it's an experience that's very telling.
I urge everyone interested (and eligible) to submit their abstracts as soon as Lotusphere Idol! opens. If you're selected to participate - which I was via mobile call while checking in at the Pop Century last year - make sure to bring your A-game. Get across as much information and details about your session. Practice your abstract overview - don't wing it. Relax and enjoy - as your first time will be over in a few minutes while first-year session speakers will have to push onward for at least an hour.
As for what to expect if you're the next Lotusphere Idol!... well, you'll have to ask Andy about that!