Public Speaking my ass

The other weekend I spoke at a conference. It was actually a code camp, which is basically a tech conference. It was the first time I had actually submitted a talk for something like this. The other cases where I’ve spoken have been on panels where others reached out or by random happenstances. The coordinator for this conference though contacted me after us meeting at That Conference.

I usually get pretty nervous when speaking in front of others… Even though I understand the importance of public speaking, it still terrifies me. My face and ears get beet red, my mouth gets dry, and I have a tendency to rush through my speaking points. So, I’ve been signing up for more and more talks like these in an effort to combat this fear. If I want to be any kind of leader in the future I need to learn to speak in front of others…

My talk was about Google Glass. I didn’t put a crap-ton into this presentation beforehand because I had already given the same presentation 3-4 times and was pretty comfortable with how it would go. I don’t like to over-practice things because then I can come across as too rehearsed. Rather, I like to just have a really good understanding of what I’m speaking about.

Let’s just say, this talk went hella-well. I didn’t feel nervous at all going into it. I knew I knew my content and I was excited to teach others about the functionality. I went into the day with a nice bowl of cereal (Lucky Charms!!) and then red bull and coffee too – so I was just a bit hopped up. My session was just after lunch too, so I went up with a full stomach rather than starving my nerves like I’ve done in the past.

When I did the evening presentation of Google Glass for Girls in Tech, I had a beer beforehand which I thought loosened me up and enabled the good presentation. With this one, I obviously didn’t and it was still just as good if not better. The feedback I got was encouraging too. Most liked the humor I brought to the presentation and my overall ability to engage. One person even suggested I consider stand up comedy. It’s really remarkable to put a lot of effort into something and then see my efforts pay off… 

[Beauty school drop out…] Go back to high school…

Having nothing to do with Grease, I awkwardly ran into someone I went to high school with at Caribou Coffee today.

Let me be clear, it was only awkward because I was there.

I kind of thought it was her, but I wasn’t entirely sure… so I did that whole, try to look from the side and get caught looking and quickly look away thing that is oh-so-awkward. This lasted for at least three minutes while her drink was being made, and when they called her name, I had all the confirmation I needed.

Maybe I would have said “hi” had I not been in my winter boots with a backpack on while on my way home. But then probably not, because I’m not the fondest of my high school years. It reminded me a lot of cliques and labels and the groups people tend to put others (and themselves) into, consciously or not.

In school, I tried hard to fall into the nerdy category. I didn’t have the highest self esteem regarding my looks and liked to think that at least I had my smarts to fall back on. I dreamt of things like being asked to the prom and what not, but seeing as I didn’t brush my hair before class, that didn’t happen. Today I’m confident and I love meeting new people… why don’t I want to go back and meet someone I knew before?