8 months after stepping so totally out of my comfort zone, speaking at Columbus Ruby Brigade, not remembering most of it because it was such a nervous blur, and swearing off public speaking again for a long time (if ever) – I surprised myself recently.
When the OSU Ruby on Rails group sent out an open invite to the Columbus Ruby Brigade (CRB) mailing list, inviting anyone who might like to speak, a little voice in me said maybe I should give it another try. A bit surprised the thought even crossed my mind, I talked myself into it.
For whatever variety of reasons, I don’t think I ever 100% convinced myself that I was qualified to speak at CRB. With some hard work I could probably get over the fear and insecurity. And yet, I’ve said before, public speaking has never been a passion of mine so I see little motivation to actually overcome it.
For whatever variety of other reasons, I didn’t have as much trouble convincing myself I am qualified to speak to a small group of college students. Small group being the biggest factor. I suppose knowing that I have more experience than people in my audience was something else to ease my mind too, not necessarily so at CRB. And for this time anyway, they were OK with me re-using my previous talk on sorting in Ruby, so it helped that it was a talk I’d given before.
Three things to put me at ease. And put me at ease it did. I didn’t incessantly rehearse/memorize what I was going to say this time. As a result I have a feeling my speech was more fluid and conversational. The guys were great and asked good questions, too.
So, I did it. I’m still not sure if/when I’ll do it again, but I’m not running for the hills either. So we’ll see where it takes me.