Here's a little not-so-secret secret I want to share with you: I don't really like to get up and talk in front of people. Not in a formal, Power Point kind of way.
I used to get on stage with my band back in the day and ROCK a mic and electric guitar, no problem. I'm also perfectly at home on stage playing a part in a play or musical.
But, place me behind a podium with a slide deck and a laptop and I turn into an awkward, stunted version of myself (at least, that's how it feels on the inside as I'm talking to a group of people).
Not long ago, however, I gave an impromptu presentation to my fellow SpinWebsters. Repeat, I had not planned anything and I got up and talked!
I spoke about a new meal planning service that I've starting using (Cook Smarts, check it out, for real) and gave a short demonstration of the product.
Why would I do this? It wasn't even MANDATORY! I had planned to be a passive audience member that day, because frankly I was unprepared.
Let me explain.
We do this thing once a quarter called BarCamp.
What is a BarCamp and why is it awesome? It's basically an unstructured conference, an unconference (if you can handle calling it that).
And here are the reasons to love BarCamp style, peer learning events.