You Want to Speak at a Salesforce Event? We Want to Help!

public-speakingI hate public speaking.  I absolutely detest it.  I know these are strong words to describe something that I do quite often, but a myriad of things run through my mind every time I am about to stand up and speak.  The running monologue in my head goes something like, what if you trip and fall on your face (physically and metaphorically)?  What if you lose your voice in the middle of your talk? To be fair, I’ve already experienced this during my last minute panel appearance at London’s Calling where I squeaked my way through answering questions by Erica Kuhl.  Regardless of the amount of times I do this, I still get a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach and want to run far away and hide..  But yet.. I continue to do it.  Why?

My reason for doing this is my desire to share my experiences and give back to the community that has given me so much over the years.  That is what propels me on stage and to do just that.  When I put together a talk for a User Group, World Tour or Dreamforce, I am sharing a piece of me and my experiences.  My goal is that even a small bit of knowledge that I can impart can help someone else.  That is why I put myself through this crazy rollercoaster ride of emotions.

So now that I’ve shared why I do this, does this motivate you to want to speak at events?  If your answer is yes, keep reading!  (If it’s no, keep reading anyway!)

As one of the co organisers of our local Salesforce Women in Tech User Group, I get a lot of comments when asking others if they would like to speak that run the gamut of, I have nothing to say all the way to, I couldn’t possibly stand in front of people and speak.  I have challenged them and asked why they thought they couldn’t speak and how they could overcome these hurdles.  To all of the people that said they didn’t think this was something they could do, we have come up with the perfect solution!  

The London WiT User Group and Salesforce will be providing a 6 week course to be able to do just that… deliver a talk at a User Group.  At the end of the 6 weeks, attendees will learn tips and tricks on building and delivering a talk, practice their new skills and then at the end, speak at the London Dev User Group!  

The 6 one hour sessions will be held at Salesforce Tower in London and cover the following topics:

  1. Getting Started with Public Speaking
  2. Delivering a Talk
  3. Choose a Topic
  4. Building Your Talk
  5. Dry Runs / Feedback Session
  6. Present at the Dev User Group

The sessions will be taught by Keir Bowden, Pauline Dufour, Antonina Romanova and myself.  They may even include a “graduation” present at the end!! This should definitely sway you now!

If this sounds like something you would like to do and can commit to the 6 sessions starting on 12-July, please sign up here.

What is a Center of Excellence and Why do I want one?

Recently (Southeast Dreamin’ & World Tour London) I spoke about moving from being a Solo Admin to creating a Center (or Centre) of Excellence (CoE).  The talk I did at Southeast Dreamin’ was a little different content wise from what I had spoken about at World Tour.  I’ve also summarized a fair amount of the important points in this post.  Now that you have a good background on how to quantify and qualify your time as well as ask for assistance, I am going to move into the next part of this topic.

What is a Center of Excellence?

A Center of Excellence leverages People, Processes, Knowledge and Technology to drive business value, encourage collaboration, socialize best practices and promote standards across the business.

This sounds fairly easy and straightforward, right?  Not really.  The devil is always in the details and in trying to figure out how to effectively leverage people, processes, knowledge and technology to drive business value.  It’s one of those sentences that sounds great on paper (or online) but means very little without some best practices to guide you through the creation process.

Core Pillars

Ok, well core pillars now sounds really official!  It sounds like we’re getting somewhere now, so let’s define the 5 Core Pillars that comprise a CoE.


Governance:  This is the processes that ensures the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling an organization to achieve its goals.

Business Management: Empowering the business to know what to deliver, why it is important and the value to the business.

Change Management: The process to manage enhancements, timely delivery to market, prioritization and utilization of resources

Release Management: Ensuring the highest quality with structured processes and methodology.

Support Management: The ability to provide Subject Matter Expertise, responsiveness and education.

Now that you know what the Core Pillars are, why do you want to build a CoE?

Here are some reasons why building a CoE is the right thing to do to manage Salesforce effectively for your business.

  • Salesforce is unique and encompasses competing stakeholders within Sales, Marketing, Service across one or more businesses and/or regions
  • Delivering a quicker time to market with utilizing out of the box and easily configured features but discipline and process is essential
  • Managing the rapid change of pace as Salesforce has thrice annually releases in addition to ever changing business needs
  • Justifying license model and reacting to data management challenges by ensuring adoption is high, data is clean and trusted by the business to justify investment
  • Acting on complex org decisions such as single or multi org strategies due to organic growth or growth by acquisition in a firm.

In the next post, I will detail each of these pillars out more and with additional details.