Off to Australia!

Just a heads up that there won’t be any blog posts until Thursday at the earliest.

Today I’m headed over to Australia where I’ll be giving a PPC Workshop tomorrow and taking part in the always entertaining SMX Sydney Conference later this week.

As well as giving a presentation on the joys of Twitter at SMX Bootcamp,  I’ll be live blogging as many sessions as I can and scoffing down pink drinks during all the networking events, as is the SMX tradition. Wanna join me? It’s not too late to Register!

I’m really looking forward to catching up with my #invisiblefriends and watching drunk geeks lurch on a boat as they pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

At the end of the week I’m taking myself off to Melbourne to hang with my sister at Crown Casino for 5 days and treat myself to some retail and spa therapy. Hooray!

If you’re coming along to SMX, make sure you say hi. I’ll be the one wearing the lanyard.

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Public Speaking: Achievement Unlocked

Today marks a milestone for me.

On behalf of the Canterbury Development Corporation, I presented a 3 hour SEO workshop to a group of small to medium business owners based in Christchurch. Nothing too unusual about that, I’ve run workshops before and have presented at conferences and seminars quite a few times over the years.

But what made today different was that it was the very first time I can remember NOT being nervous prior to the event.

Let me explain. I HATE public speaking. Ok, so most people hate it. But the idea of speaking in public makes me sweaty palms anxious and physically ill.  My legs wobble while I’m up on stage, I develop a deer-in-the-headlights stare and I tend to mumble or speak too fast in the hope that the whole ordeal will be over faster. Consequently, I’m not very good at it. Think Bridget Jones without the amusing vocabulary.

But I continue to accept speaking opportunities and MAKE myself go through it. Why? Because I don’t like things that scare me and I want to conquer the fear. I’ve had other people tell me that the more you speak in public, the better you get and the less it intimidates you, so I’ve followed their advice and keep saying YES to situations requiring me to address an audience.

Today, that persistence seems to have paid off. It’s true I was a little jittery yesterday as it dawned on me I would be speaking in front of an audience in a few hours, but that initial fear lasted about 20 minutes. I slept well last night and today, I woke up feeling great. A gym class in the morning got my adrenalin flowing and by the time 1pm rolled around I was feeling confident and, (for the very first time), actually excited about the idea of getting up in front of an audience. I kept waiting for the butterflies to announce themselves in my stomach but they never came!

I spoke more confidently than ever before, had fun with the attendees and enjoyed myself from start to finish. It helped that I had prepared really well, made my slides interesting and interactive, plus I had a very responsive audience. I’m sure all these things contributed, but after 10 years of public speaking terror,  today felt like a huge personal milestone and I’m very proud to have passed it.

Now, if I could just conquer my fear of clowns.

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Wishing you a very jolly Xmas and see you in 2010

Well, that wraps up Ask Kalena for 2009.

It’s been quite a watershed year for us and if you’re a regular subscriber, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to every single one of you for sharing the ride.

I’d also like to thank my loyal guest bloggers Andy, Saurav and Peter, as well as my hard-working Virtual Assistant Sarah for their dedication this year.

I hope you all have a safe and memorable Xmas, a kickass New Year’s Eve and remember to find some time to reward yourself for your hard work throughout the year.

As for me, it’s time to unplug from the Internet and shut the laptop down to spend some quality time IRL with family and friends.

Catch you in 2010!

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Have been skipping blog duty

Just a quick post to say sorry for the lack of content on the blog over the past week or so, but I’ve been skipping school.

I’ve been indulging in a bit of rest and recreation with the family, touring around New Zealand after speaking at Search Engine Bootcamp in Auckland.

Apart from a few nights in Auckland, we went sight-seeing in rainy Wellington (where I introduced my son to the wonders of Te Papa), hiking the hills in Motueka, shell-collecting in Golden Bay, wine-tasting in Blenheim and soaking in Hanmer Springs where we had the bizarre and delightful experience of sitting in the hot thermal pools while it snowed on our heads!

See the picture of the pools included in this post.

Anyway, I’ve got lots of new blog material to share, a wrap of  Search Engine Bootcamp and a few Q and A’s coming up this week, so stay tuned.

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Battle of the Silly Pub Names

You know how sometimes you have a funny conversation with someone and it turns into a running gag every time you see them? Yep I love those too.

Because it’s the middle of the week and because we’ve had enough exciting search engine news in the past few days, I thought I’d break with tradition on the blog and share one of those funny conversations with you instead.

Warning: If you’re squeamish about naughty words, or just a prude in general, look away NOW.

So the other day my husband Jerry and I were reminiscing about a pub we used to go to in the nearby port town of Lyttelton called the Rat and Roach. It used to serve monster hamburgers which were delicious, but it ended up closing down, no doubt due to the poorly thought out name of the place.

That conversation led to us having a verbal competition to see who could come up with the silliest pub name, real or imaginary. It’s an ongoing battle but here’s the score so far:

ME: The Rat and Roach (real)

HIM: The Ox and Pickle (imaginary)

ME: The Spank and Fiddle (imaginary)

HIM: The Cock and Balls (imaginary)

ME: Ladies Pockets (imaginary)

ME: The Pickit and Hives (imaginary)

HIM: The Bendover and Wallop (imaginary)

ME: The Earl of Hurl (imaginary)

ME: Her Majesty’s Nipple (imaginary)

As you can see, I’m well in the lead with those last few, but I’ll add more as they roll in.

To help the cause, I took the competition onto Twitter to see what silly pub names other people may have come across. It even spawned it’s own hashtag #sillypubnames

It wasn’t long before we had some hilarious additions:

@Teifion: The Rat and Carrot (imaginary)

@netmeg: The Jox Trap (real – gay bar in Detroit)

@seoidiot: Fanny By Gaslight (real – I kid you not, in UK)

@Teifion: The Pig and Marmalade (imaginary)

@coplandmj: The Office (real – Brighton UK)

@barrysaunders: The Lick Her Store (real – bottle shop in Sydney)

@ninefish: The Slug and Lettuce (real – Worcester UK)

@Teifion: The Pipe and Cucumber (imaginary)

@ChelleC79: The Lion and Pineapple (real)

@ninefish: The Dog and Trumpet (real – Coventry UK)

But as @seoidiot pointed out in one of his tweets, when it comes to silly pub names that actually exist, the UK wins out every time.

Check out these classics featured in an article called The UK’s Weirdest Pub Names :

  • The Spread Eagle (Wiltshire)
  • The Old Thirteenth Cheshire Astley Volunteer Rifleman Corps Inn (Stalybridge)
  • The Happy Medium (Chicester)

and the gold medal goes to:

  • The Fawcett Inn (Hampshire – pictured) – say it aloud!

Hope you enjoyed these.

Come across any silly pub names of your own? Join the fun and please add them in the comments or tweet them using the #sillypubnames hashtag.

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