Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ProductCamp Austin 10 - What story are you telling about your products?

ProductCamp Austin 10 is happening this weekend. ProductCamp Austin is a non-profit organization that is creating a community for product management and marketing professionals to teach, learn, and network in Austin. This event will be a big milestone for our organization, as it is the tenth event since it was founded in 2008. Since the first event, the ProductCamp Austin community has grown to consistently organize two events each year.


ProductCamp events are unconferences. The events are free and are participant driven. Anyone can submit an idea for a session and the first order of business on Saturday is to vote for which ones get on the agenda. Each person gets 3 votes for the sessions that they want to see during the rest of the day.

PCA10 has over 500 people registered and 48 sessions proposed. We will have 5 time slots on the agenda across six rooms, for a total of 30 sessions. This means that 18 session proposals won't make the cut, and competition will be fierce for the sacred agenda slots. The ones that make the cut should be the cream of the crop. The hardest part of the day will be choosing which sessions to vote for and which ones to attend.

I submitted a session idea about persuasion and storytelling, and I'm hoping it makes the cut. My presentation is a big part of the basis for my blog, so I have a lot of passion for the topic.

Here's my pitch:
  1. Register for ProductCamp Austin 10.
  2. Arrive at 8AM at the AT&T Conference Center on Saturday.
  3. Vote for my session!
  4. Participate.

What story are you telling about your products?

We have all heard that people make decisions based on emotion and then back them up with reason. If this is the case, why do we continually use reason to convince our customers to buy our products? A more compelling way to market and sell is to tell a story that uses emotion to drive a change in behavior. This session will explore why emotion is a stronger motivator than reason, and share some  effective ways to tell a story that is relevant to your customers.


The first time I gave this presentation was at the ISA Marketing & Sales Summit here in Austin in August 2012. Preparing for this presentation turned out to be a much more wild and exciting ride than I expected. I started out with a single statement - "People make decisions based on emotion and then back them up with reason." I have used it before in presentations, but then I felt that I shouldn't just throw this cliche around without understanding why this is the case. And so my journey begins... You can read about the rest of my story here.

Since the first time in I presented it in August last year, I have given this presentation eight times around the world, including events in Austria, Germany, England, Singapore, Australia, and even once again yesterday in Austin. Come join us on Saturday and (hopefully) see me present this for the 10th time at ProductCamp Austin 10.

Can you come up with a better way to spend your Saturday than to teach, learn, and network with the brightest people in Austin?