GPUG 2017 is almost upon us. Getting ready for any presentation can be daunting for some. My daughter gets absolutely terrified when she has to present in front of her class. She is 17 and in high school. “These are your friends” I say. How can you be nervous in front of your friends is what I am thinking.
There are many schools of thought that have determined why people get nervous, new brain, mid brain and old brain type stuff. Flight or fight reactions, rationalizations, and public perception. The truth of it comes down to most people are just glad that they are not up there! Happy to see someone else doing it. Maybe high school is a bit different, but overall people want to know what you have to say. They are interested in what you are speaking about otherwise they would be somewhere else.
I am presenting at in Nashville next week. Not just in classes, hell, that is easy. Get in front of interested people and do things that you do day in and day out? You can do that in your sleep. I am also spending over 20 minutes in front of 3000+ attendees at multiple times during the keynote presentation. That is the fun part. People are not always interested in what you have to say since they might not be there for you! You can still find a way to address your nervousness. I am sure they are thinking, “Better you than me!” right?
Listen, public speaking can be nerve wracking experience, but it can also be one of the most satisfying things you do. Preparation is always key. Practicing your things you need to say. Checking and double checking your equipment. Wearing the right clothes! All these things will make you comfortable. You were asked to present because someone thought it would be valuable to hear what you have to say. Make the most of it.
I get to speak about security, automated journal entries, and community while I am in Nashville. No, I have not practiced yet on the first two, but another key to becoming a good speaker is talking about the same thing over and over again. I have already presented those first two things in previous events. I have simply updated them with new things that have been requested by people that gave me feedback. You too can use that sort of thing to make you more at ease when speaking.
Lastly, when at conferences, you must be prepared to meet new people. You get to speak with friends you have know for years and strangers that you are meeting for the first time. “OMG, what do I say?!” I hear you screaming. Simple. What have you been doing lately, and what do you do. There are no better ice breaker conversation starters as those.
If you are going to Nashville make sure to find me somewhere and say hi. I will be looking for you!