Once again, I will be putting myself in front of a large crowd to talk about birds.
I would not have thought this possible just a few years ago. I’ve never been what you would call outgoing, or particularly talkative. I’ve always described myself as the quiet type. Not really one to start a conversation with a stranger.
I definitely came out of my shell in a big way when I decided to follow the newspaper reporter route in college and immediately after I graduated. This was a move those closest too me thought odd at the time. I mean, all you do as a reporter is talk to strangers.
And yet, here I am again. Fighting back slight apprehension and nervousness with my time to speak quickly approaching. This will only be my second time speaking publicly in front of a large crowd. I wrote about my first experience here:
Fortunately, the talk will be the same as my first time: 4 Signs Your Friend or Loved on is a Birder. Both my experiences so far have been what are called “Ignite” talks. A 5-minute, 20 presentation slide limit with each slide auto-advancing after 15 seconds.Tonight, I’ll be part of the Ignite Seattle group’s 34th series of speakers.
As I sit here typing this, I do feel less nervous than I did my first time. I’ve fit in practices over the last few days whenever I could: in the evenings at home with my wife, at work during lunch, even in the shower talking to myself. I’ve been careful to make sure I don’t take anything for granted, since I’ve given this talk before.
I like to think I’m ready, but still a hint of apprehension lingers. What if I completely forget a whole section? What if my timing is way off?
But then I think: those thoughts have no place here. I’m talking about birds to a bunch of people. No big deal. This is something I would do (albeit on a smaller scale) every day if I could.
My passion for birds and the support of friends and family brought me through last time. I know they will again.