First of all, I am very happy overall with how the “Is This IP?” talk turned out yesterday at Ballard Labs. People seemed interested, attentive, and had lots of good questions.
This talk went better (I think) than the Joint Ventures and Due Diligence talk I gave in Phoenix. Why?
1) I had had that practice as an excellent learning experience.
2) I felt more comfortable with the topic and the way I presented it.
3) I had some GREAT advice from my managing partner through How To Manage a Small Law Firm.
Things that worked for me:
I structured the talk like a story – I took people through the evolution of a product and illustrated scenarios that could actually happen to entrepreneurs as they start and grow their business. I approached it in a more casual manner. I bribed people with treats from La Foret Bakery thanks to my good friend Taryn. I acted as though I were speaking to someone I know who does not know THAT much about intellectual property/the law.
Things that did not work for me:
I did not do a good job in committing people to coming. We had a decent turnout for the room and for my first endeavor, but I need to find a better way to commit people in the future. I asked folks to RSVP, but even when I am having a party, it is difficult to get people to RSVP yes or no. I need to plan my talk out better to have a clear conclusion. I spent so much time thinking about the content, I did not have a strong conclusion/take-away point. I should have had a sign-up sheet for people to sign up for office hours or my list. It may not have been appropriate this time, but in the future it will be a good practice.
All in all, the point of setting this up was to start getting my name out and have practice in public speaking. I am sure that I will give this same talk again and I look forward to it. It will only get easier.
Extra Learning Bonus Points:
I got quite a few interesting and thought-provoking questions from the audience. It was awesome! One question, however, was about something I had no familiarity with – International Trademarks. I know how to file an international patent, but had very little information about the international trademark process.
I have since learned (and will get this information to the gentleman who asked ASAP) that there is an international application process under the Madrid Protocol. It is all online. There seems to be a fee for every country that is a party of the Madrid Protocol (there are 92 countries, I believe) that the applicant wants to file the trademark in. The fees are dependent on what the contracting country has decided. I am very glad that this was brought to my attention and I am currently downloading materials from WIPO to learn more.