Sxsw Todd Moy & me at SxSW last year.

The materials arrived for our two workshops at next week's Insurance & Financial Communicators Association annual conference next week in Montreàl. Steve did a great job on the layout. We can't wait to put them to use.This year, we're doing our revisions (download our tips for revising and editing) and op/ed-writing workshops (download info on how to write for advocacy). We'll also present the latter at the Equality NC annual conference next month.

We love speaking at conferences. Yeah, it's good biz dev. But there are other upsides. It's a fantastic opportunity for networking. And it's great to be in a room with people who're eager to learn and engaged in solving problems. It's also gratifying to see them walking out of the class with new skills and in some cases good drafts of actual work. Plus, I'm a ham!

One thing I've had to get used to, though, is live-blogging or -tweeting during a workshop. At first, it chapped me. But I was at SxSW, and it seemed kind of ridiculous to tell folks at an interactive conference not to interact. Sure, it kept some of them from interacting with the class itself, but Steve pointed out those folks probably wouldn't have participated anyhow. Most of the other attendees were able to post and participate. By the time we did those social media workshops in Detroit last year (again, not exactly a topic that lent itself to "No tweeting"), I had gotten over it. Still, I prefer not having to stare at the top of your head the entire time.

Here's a post I did early this year on better conference blogging. It expands on a post by SAS' Alison Bolen. Just remember to look up every once in awhile so the speaker knows you're alive!