Category Archives: Events

Selling Yourself: How to build confidence as an expert

It’s been said that public speaking is the biggest fear in America, just edging out death for the number one spot. Elliot Ronen would like to change that, he’s a techie by day and grad student by night who’s passion for public speaking inspired him to recently launch his blog. Face melting is all about knocking an audience dead with the right combination of confidence, speaking skills, and well crafted presentations.

Learn how to sell yourself and melt faces as @ElliotRonen discusses…

Selling yourself (without getting arrested): How to hone your interests into something you can package and deliver.
Giving stuff away without giving yourself away: The knowledge you have is more valuable than the knowledge itself.
Setting the networking tone; your passion is a service: Just because I know and you know that you’re an expert doesn’t mean you can say you’re one.
What a client is really interested in… they just don’t know it yet: Your client wants more than just an information repository. They want a voice behind that information that they can understand.
You’re a (very) local celebrity: Once you get on top, you have to stay on top. Avoiding the ranks of D-list experts by keeping up with A-list information and letting everybody in your circle know you’re doing so.

The format will be very informal and personal– attendees will be called on to participate in the conversation and tell their stories, and Elliot – our discussion leader – will include some lessons from his personal experiences and offer advice.

Freelancer’s Toolbox

Tonight’s presentation, the Freelancer’s Toolbox, was meant to give new (and experienced) freelancers a peek into the tools of the trade that other freelancers use.  I polled a bunch of my freelancing friends to find out what they used, and while I expected (and got) a bunch of fancy new tools, I found two things:

  1. There is no “standard” for doing anything in the freelance world
  2. More people use low-tech methods for their businesses than I’d expected!
In corporations, “they” in their infinite wisdom, tell you what tools to use in your daily work. As a freelancer, you’re free to choose whatever solution works for you, even if that solution is post-it notes and your email’s inbox for project management! As a freelancer myself, starting out in the software world, we were forced to use Microsoft Project for our needs. As a freelancer, that’s like using a bulldozer to crush a bug when a well-placed heel would do. I find that Excel- yes, Microsoft Excel, is fantastic for most of my task-driven project needs. Many other people agree.
Outlook/email is the standard for many people for contact management.
Here is the list of programs we mentioned in our presentation, and others that users contributed during the presentation! (several of which I’m excited to try!) (iPhone only?) sequential todos
HiRise is integrated with iCal?
Gmail contacts
how to deal with non-paying or late-paying clients –
* offer a deal for a discount if they pay up front
* if you get into trouble, be ANNOYING & PERSISTENT to non-paying clients, and you will be the one that gets paid first!
* to account for an inevitable discount, pad your rates a bit at first too
gmail labs – inbox sectioning
google checkouts (used to be cheaper, now on par with paypal)
BetterProjects – Dana’s company – more sharing and confirming
ISOLATOR PROGRAM FOR MAC – makes everythign else fuzzy on your screen

Here is a list of the programs mentioned in tonight’s presentation:

Time Tracking

Project Management

Todo/Task Management



Contact Management


Conference calls/meetings


  • Other Inbox
  • (brainstorming)
  • MixedLink (collaborative writing)
  • (put up presentations)
  • : send the dude your business cards, he scans them in for you
  • : will broadcast your PR
  • nutshell mail: organizes your email
  • (user feedback) (user feedback, often used to gather info from groups, like what seminars people want to see)

Twitter Clients

  • Tweetdeck (has groups, filters, but takes a lot of screen real estate)
  • Twhirl (filters)
  • nambu (has groups, but a little slow)
  • tweetie for Mac (fast, multi-threaded conversations, no groups)
  • Seesmic desktop (like Twhirl + groups)