Do the Scary Thing

That’s what I’m doing today

OK, maybe it’s not that scary. Source

My scary thing is speaking in front of a crowd. I wouldn’t say I have a phobia of it. I’ve fortunately not experienced any sort of serious anxiety about it. I have a standard amount of worry about the whole thing.

My first-ever public speaking experience is part of a big marketing and SEO conference in my hometown of Seattle called MozCon. The talk I’m giving is part of a Moz Ignite series of talks. These are community-sourced and focus on all sorts of topics conference attendees are passionate about in their personal lives.

I’m talking about birds and birdwatching. Specifically, i’m offering “four signs your friend or loved one is a birder,” in the style of trying to figure out if your friend or loved one is addicted to a controlled substance.

It’s been quite a ride building the presentation from scratch, especially since I submitted my pitch to the Moz Ignite organizers not quite expecting it be accepted.

But it was. It’s only five minutes, but still I’ve spent a good 24 hours total crafting the text of the speech itself and the PowerPoint slide deck. I’ve see-sawed back and forth on the spectrum of excited and terrified. I’m more on the excited end now; fortunately, because my talk is in about 12 hours as of this posting.

If I only take one thing away from this whole process, it will definitely be this: I have amazing friends and family in my life. My wife specifically has been so incredibly supportive in helping mepractice and offering her own advice on public speaking. I also have nothing but nice things to say about my coworkers/friends (friendworkers?) who encouraged me to submit in the first place.

All because I chose to do the scary thing. If for no other reason, I’m glad I took this step because of what it revealed about my support network. I am so grateful.