We all fear something, be it death, snakes, spiders, etc. My fear is public speaking. As Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, though, “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”
I conquered my fear by giving a presentation at the Georgia Educational Advancement Council Summer Conference at Augusta State University this past Friday. I’m still amazed I agreed to speak at the engagement with so little time to prepare, but given the topic – New Media 101 (Blogs, Wikis, Chatrooms, and more) – I felt like I could handle it. In attendance at my workshop were 40-50 University System of Georgia employees from institutions all over the state. I had no idea what their depth of knowledge would be, no idea what the format of the discussion would be… I just showed up to do my best. A few minutes in, it was pretty evident that there would be a consistent back and forth between what I was presenting and questions from the attendees. This worked out perfectly.
I was worried going in about doing well, mis-speaking, getting something factually wrong, etc. – but in the end, I did okay. I built all of these “worse case scenarioes” up in my mind trying to defeat myself before I even got started. As my boss told me before going into this… “You’re the expert here. You know this stuff. You’re going to do alright.” And he was right.
I survived the presentation, got over my fears of speaking in public, and sent people on their way equipped with the knowledge I shared in my presentation. Thank God. :)