So I went and did something today I’ve never really done before, and is already making me nervous: I submitted a proposal to do a presentation at the next Ignite Bend event.
First, though, some backstory. Ignite Bend is the local version of the “Ignite” series of events started by O’Reilly; it’s a fun, high-energy event where speakers get five minutes on stage with a PowerPoint (or compatible) slideshow to do a presentation on anything they want. Here’s the Ignite tagline:
If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Launch a web site? Teach a hack? Talk about recent learnings, successes, failures? Around the world communities have been putting together Ignite events to show their answers.
So you get five minutes on stage, and a total of 20 slides in your slideshow—which will automatically rotate after 15 seconds, no matter what.
I’ve watched most of the previous Ignite Bend events online and attended the last one and it was incredibly fun and good-spirited; and in the back of my mind I thought it might be cool to do a presentation, too. After all, it’s only five minutes, right? And even though I’ve enjoyed all the other speakers I’ve seen, many were clearly as nervous as I imagine I would be and they still did great.
So today I did it: I submitted a proposal to do a presentation called “How to Brew Beer in 10 Easy Steps.” I don’t know yet for sure if I will be picked; mine is one of 20 submissions and only nine speakers will be selected (by vote). But I figure pick something I know, right?
But even so, this is way out of my usual comfort zone; in Real Life I am not a public speaker and am much more of an introvert than you might think. So I’m (at the moment, until the real nerves kick in) looking at this as an opportunity to try something new and hopefully grow from it. (Cue after-school special music.)
Ignite Bend is taking place next month, February 9th. I’ll post more about it as it unfolds.