Last Wednesday, Ryan and I drove to Sebastopol where I was set to go on stage and give my Ignite presentation. As outgoing and social I might appear on the Internet, situations that put me on center-stage terrify me. This is precisely why I decided I had to accept the invitation to present and conquer my fears.
After completing my presentation, and as I walked down the steps to the ground floor, I could not have been happier with my choice. Ignite Sebastopol was a blast.
First of all, thanks to all you of who gave me the support and encouragement on Twitter and Facebook. I had dozens of messages from friends and strangers alike sending well-wishes my way. Without those positive vibes, I’m not sure I could have made it up the steps to the stage!
Ryan and I made it to town with plenty of extra time, naturally I was nervous we would be late to my first, real, public speaking engagement. We killed some time by wandering around downtown until about six o’clock when I had to check in with the Ignite people. I wasn’t there more than two minutes before Tony, the guy who invited me to present, and I bumped into each other, for the first time in six years.
Everyone at the event was incredibly nice, whether they were a fellow presenter or there for the show. Believe it or not, I bumped into a guy Kayla and I met a few weeks ago when we went to the Cartograph tasting room in Healdsburg for wine and music. Totally random!
My presentation was on serendipity. I discussed how my being at the Ignite conference all came to be because in 2003 I graduated from high school and wanted to experience seasons. It was a five minute run-through of the last eight years of my life, the ups, the downs, the pain, the love and the fun. In the end, everyone was surprised. I had laughs, I had gasps and I had fun.
But it didn’t go off without a hitch. In the middle of my talk the projector stopped working and in place of my slide was a bright blue screen. To the surprise of the people in the audience, and especially to me, I ran with it and got one of the biggest laughs of the night! Phew. Who knew I could recover from disaster when I was actively telling myself “just don’t fall off the stage!”
Ignite will share my presentation on YouTube and once they do I’ll make sure to post it here so you can get a look at it. It’s not a perfect presentation but, I didn’t fall off the stage and I accomplished much more than I ever thought I would. Mostly I’m happy I stood up to my fears and really and truly did my best and in a very limited amount of time.
Here are some of the other topics people presented:
- Why Is Synchronicity A Key For Transforming Our Society?
- Tomorrow, serendipity is for the rich
- Get back in the basement and start your own band!
- Interesting Trivia, Obvious Observations & Lessons Learned from a Bear Break-in
- The Simpsons is my religion
Now I can’t wait for the next chance to get in front of a group of awesome people and share my passion. I’m even thinking of joining some sort of improvisational speaking group. In my head I imagine 8-12 people standing on stage giving impromptu speeches about whatever they pull out of a hat. It sounds fun to me!