This was such a big deal; and now it is such a little deal. What is it really?
I spoke at a conference for the first time – Pics of Bling:
Leading up to it, it was .. scary.
- Will I have something worthy to say?
- Will I be able to say it?
- What if I say something and I’m wrong?
- WILL I BELONG?
Walking into the speaker dinner the first time ever .. as a volunteer, three years ago .. surrounded by these splendid specimens of technical trueness .. was both overwhelming and exciting. Some of that is captured in this blog post: https://geekygulati.com/2015/04/27/codepalousa-day-2-for-me/
And this year, at the prompting of my company … I took the plunge and I submitted a talk. (Well, technically, two talks, because @jstill did a talk together). And it took a LOT of time:
28 Hours, in powerpoint, to be exact. A lot of this was after-hours. There’s probably another 4-5 hours in there working on it in other apps (like looking for images, or looking up screenshots, or drawing things). The above graphic is thanks to RescueTime, which I have on both my work and personal machines. I also spent 14 hours on Youtube in March.
I don’t think there were any empty seats in the room.
Several people I respect were in the room.
Several of my former students where there!
One person was there because they had seen me talk about RSI. (link)
I got nervous, and I got ready, and I started … at 3pm, 15 minutes early. ABORT. Continue with asking people what their challenges were. A flow started to form in the room. Got warmed up.
Once I launched into it, it was fine. The slides had personal meaning for me, so the slide pulled the information out of me, in the grooves and paths that rehearsal had laid down before. I had my comedic timing on the sloth slide, and the cat nap slide, amongst others. I think I saw lightbulbs and people writing stuff down furiously at certain points. There was drop dead silence as we talked about fears, and then laughter as we went to the van down by the river.
It was over. I wish I had spent some more time winding down the presentation, and maybe asking people to give me feedback. Maybe I could have had my twitter handle present in the slide master like the Storyteller Spellbook’s author talks about. I did ask specific people what they got out of the presentation, and it was pretty much all on the fears side, not on the process side.
It crept up on me slowly. At the Google Thursday Night Party. I was a speaker. I had crossed that bridge.
What is that bridge? Who was I before, and who am I after? And not much has changed, yet, something is different.
|Maybe what I have to say is relevant? Maybe not.||My experiences have relevance|
|I wish I could help people||I can help people.|
|I wonder if I’ll ever …||Looking forward to the NEXT! what will it be?|
I could definitely submit this talk to other conferences for 2019.
I could do several things for CodePaLousa for 2019. I could expand on existing things:
- An expanded version of the RSI talk (instead of 10-15 minutes) … although, learning to dragon dictate again will be annoying. And I’m so unsure about the quasi-medical stuff that I unearthed.
- Zoom in deeper to dealing with Fears. I skipped all the stuff from where you become aware of the fear to awareness/acceptance and DABDA before you can get to effective action.
- Zoom in deeper into prioritization. I glossed over the Franklin stuff, I could look at GTD and other such things, I could delve into the not-perfection aspect of it, I could look at the swapping of spots in a queue, etc.
- Zoom in more into tools. I didn’t mention Rescuetime, Ditto, or Timesnapper. Maybe.
I could also do some stuff that’s bouncing around inside, but hasn’t come out yet:
- How I deal with Conflict. (Non Violent Communication, basically, except I’m not certified in NVC, and usually walking through that leads to a breakthrough even prior to talking with the other party.) I know @chadgreen has a talk and a series of blog posts about the same subject.
- Patterns within Healthy Organizations – keeping this one vague, ask me in person and I can explain why.
I wish I had technical things I could talk about, but I’m not at the forefront of technology anymore (was I ever?) — I just use things to get the job done.
I’d love to cover some of my pet projects .. like 3D Printing My House, or making the Tree of Directions, or the as yet uncompleted Map of Best Routes. Some of these projects are older now, and not very hip. But hey, I could submit them, and whatever gets chosen, go have some fun with that.
Okay, enough ruminating. Time to button up this blog post. There are other stories from the weekend, like how @bryan_soltis helped me find my elevator pitch, and how @guyroyse came up with a perfect summary of @heyslingshot.
Thank you @CodePaLOUsa for giving me this first opportunity.