On presenting

I'm earlyI’m sitting in front of a room full of chairs, with my laptop, a half-empty Diet Coke, and a nametag on my suit jacket.  In an hour and ten minutes I’m going to talk to whoever is interested about getting buy-in for new projects (at which point I’m retiring this topic for a while, because I feel like I’ve beaten the life out of it, and that’s the moment it’s sure to get boring to listen to).

And I’m not nervous.  Concerned, yes, about the technology setup working the way I want, or discovering I’ve forgotten a slide, or stumbling over my thoughts as I sometimes do… but not nervous.  I don’t get stage fright about these things anymore.  Now, put me in front of a microphone with Guitar Hero or karaoke running, and I’ll dig in my heels and say “no thank you” until you give up and take the microphone back, but this?  This is easy.  This I can do.

If you’d told the 23 year old version of myself, way back in grad school, that in 10 years I’d be driving 300 miles to talk to a room full of librarians, willingly, with a microphone and a projector, about ideas that I was solely responsible for, I would have laughed at you while I cried in terror.  I’ve come a long way since then.

My husband sent me a text message a few minutes ago.  “Break a leg. Love.”  I’m wearing 3 inch heels, but my legs are steady, and my voice will be, too.  That feels good.

Now, to check the slides one more time…


  1. I feel a bit of a muggins answering this, because I have only ONCE, EVER, been afraid of speaking and I’ve been speaking for a decade or so… but I feel about writing the same way you do about speaking.

    I write stuff and people actually READ it? And think it important enough to mention and cite? What? How did that happen?


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