I've always considered Improvisation as one of my biggest and most important skills. I know how to engage people and talk in front of a group. In tech circles – which I've been in since during college – this has always made me a bit of an oddity…
In ancient times (high school), I went as far as giving a presentation entirely off the top of my head with almost no notes. Despite my grade on that one, I decided I shouldn't do that again. So I took to the habit of outlining my speeches/presentations and working through them a few times out loud. It helps me figure out the wording of things, tightens up my language, and helps filter out the crap. And I've always encouraged others to do the same for similar reasons.
So last night was a bit of a throwback. In Ann's own words:
I spent a good deal of time today looking at the slides and couldn’t bring myself to really practice them…my gut was telling me it wasn’t the way to go. So when I met up with Keith and he asked me how I was feeling—I made some small talk and then finally told him I rather we demo’ed the site. He didn’t put up much of a fight.
So that was basically it. The slides are essentially the same as what we've been working on for a few weeks… but after the discussion on Friday, we found that they didn't express things correctly, they didn't get across the importance and value of the site. So we punted those and demo'd the site.
From there, even though everything was out the window, it felt more natural. We were able to hand the discussion back and forth as we went through the site. As the questions came, we handled the pieces that fit our knowledge and skills the best. And despite the initial feeling that we were performing without a net, the fact that we've been living and breathing this for months (3 for me, 10 for her) made it seem like a natural progression of the conversation.
We even had the opportunity to try out my new tagline… more on that later. 😉
And more than anything, I'd like to thank David Jones and Jason Caplain at Southern Capital Ventures. The opportunity was amazing, your questions and perspective were insightful, and maybe we'll have the opportunity to work together.