I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to put a blog up so I’d hidden it for the time being. With some of the response last night, it seems like some friends want to talk food and I’d love to do that so I’m going ahead with the blog portion of the site too.
So I delivered my Ignite Phoenix 5 presentation last night.
All in all, I think it went well. It was interesting. I had some folks come up to me that were quite surprised that I was nervous. I definitely was. Standing up and doing a formal presentation is not something that comes natural for me. I pretty much locked up on my first slide & then kicked it back into gear on slide 2.
My lock up was crazy. I came out on stage & saw my family & some friends right up front. Kind of jolted me. Then when I addressed the audience & started speaking, I got out my key first sentence which had seemed to kick start me through the rest of my presentation in all my practice. Then I just blanked.
It was crazy. Time slowed down to a crawl. I could almost hear the “tick, tock, tick, tock” in my brain. Started yelling at myself in my head – “got 15 seconds….what are you going to do”. I heard a few folks laugh. Was thinking – oh no, you can’t be that guy, can you? Then my 2nd slide came up and luckily I had another key sentence I was able to use to trigger myself to get back on track.
After my blanking, I knew I was going like crazy – felt like I’d grabbed back on the train & wouldn’t be smart to let go, look around or do anything at all. I heard the audience laugh at some of the comments & react to others. I so wish I was able to interact back at those points but I was afraid I’d fall back off the train & lose it again. Couldn’t take the chance. All in all, I made it through & hit pretty much all my points. I also know (fearing to see the video) that I must have looked pretty nervous & was probably rooted to one spot doing the T-Rex (waving my forearms all over). After locking up though, I figured I just needed to stay with the preso & not try to do much more.
It was definitely a great experience though. It pushed me way out of my comfort zone. I saw a bunch of things I did that I definitely want to change. Hopefully it will give me the ability to do better in similar situations in the future.
I’d read @prestonism’s blogpost on preparing for Ignite Phoenix and find many of the same things ring true. I think the lack of ability to control the timing of slides (which I’d never experienced before) absolutely made it much harder. I also agree that I’d put a ton more time into that presentation than I normally would for much longer ones at work.
Looking back, I still had too much content and I’d pared way back. I started with tons & tons of content. My slides had way, way more on them – pictures, text, everything. Then thanks to input from @bpcarson, @kinchie & @aussieheather I was able to strip the slides back. Even with doing that, I still had too much to cover. I’d rather not have left myself having to cover multiple point at every slide.
The night before I had looked at @evo_terra‘s post on lessons learned from presenting at Ignite 3 and then watched his Ignite 4 preso. While I didn’t share any of the overconfidence, it was still enlightening to see how a great speaker can get off track & then kill it the next time with those lessons learned. I even knew going in that I had too much on the slides. I love the way that Evo just told a story with his presentation in Ignite 4 and the slides just came in to make a point here & there while they supported it the whole way. I still felt a bit like a slave to my slides with the need to make several points each one.
I’m definitely still happy with the experience.
Now to eating… 🙂