This one time at WordCamp – I was the person Speaking
My First time not only attending WordCamp but also speaking.
It is all done, finished, over and kaput. WordCampSC has come and gone and what a fantastic weekend. If I were only there as an attendee, I would still have learnt so much and been glad to have gone but I was speaking for the first time.
Did it go as planned? HELL NO! Part of the live demo material did not play out as rehearsed, several hours a day leading up to the event, and every time I looked into the crowd all I could see were the faces of, what appeared to be, very confused people. So why am I so happy? It is never, ever as bad as you think.
Once I had finally stumbled my way to the end and answered a few questions, which I was also terrified to do, I had a chance to talk to several of the people who attended. Everyone I spoke to got something out it, and that is the outcome you are seeking. If you can walk away confident that people can leave knowing a little more than when they entered, you achieved something great.
The first thing I noticed after presenting is the massive appreciation and respect you now have towards others that do the same. You know the time, effort and anxiety that goes into creating a presentation you are happy with. Believe me, when I say everyone, no matter how successful or famous they are, gets the butterflies and a case of anxiety before standing at the podium.
I am no stranger to speaking in front of large crowds or using a mic. I worked nightclubs for nearly ten years as Lighting Director, MC and DJ as well as hosting many large events. Everything changes when you are in front of people who have come to hear you talk, with the hope and desire to learn something new.
I think most individuals who have thought about speaking but have not, as well as those that avoided it for years and then finally did it, would both have the same reasons behind not taking the plunge. Lack of self-confidence. That voice in your head when you are looking at the submission form saying things like:
“Why would anyone want to hear me speak.”
“Other people in my industry or field are smarter than me.”
“I am not that good at what I do.”
That last one has always been my Achilles heel; I never believe I am any good at what I do until I get some gratification or genuine appreciation for it. Working alone at home, as well as living alone half the time, I am devoid of any professional appreciation for my job. Clients do compliment the work and tell you how much they like it but it is not the same as an appraisal from a colleague.
Speaking at WordCamp has made me realise we all have something to share and if one person can leave your session knowing just a little more than when they sat down, you have succeeded in a massive way.
There is no greater feeling of achievement than helping others, in any way. It truly is addictive and I have already submitted an idea for the next WordCamp in Sydney later this year. Also hoping to speak later this week at our local meetup in Brisbane.
I have a mission this year to share as much as possible and be social. I read something last year that I thought was profound.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to share it.”
If you have thought about speaking at an event, meetup or perhaps even doing a vlog, do not hold back. You have so much to give to others and to gain from the experience. Can not wait to do it again.