I prepared for FinCon the same way that I prepare for a job interview. I had a 30 second elevator pitch (that The Roamer heard 72 times, sorry Roamer), a one minute explanation of my expertise, and a list of relevant stories and accomplishments that showed expertise in an arena where I am significantly less accomplished than many of the people that I met.
I handed out these business cards, I wore 3.5 inch, close toed pumps, and I dressed in professional clothes that hid my baby bump. And in the very conversations where I spoke knowledgeably about Sentiment Analysis, quantitative marketing, and the difference between Iron Condors, Covered Calls, and Basic options, I also spoke about the need for stories, authenticity and connecting real people to real needs.
Why did I prepare this way, and why did I present myself this way?