Friday, October 11, 2013

Public Speaking, a Trip to the Emergency Room and Technical Difficulties

As you may know, I presented at the 6th annual Rochester writers' conference. 

presenter, rochester writers' conference, badge
Legit presenter badge.

I was feeling pretty ok with my new dress and awesome play list, but then I got this text.

texts received when your child sticks something up his nose


As if I wasn't nervous enough, I now had to worry about this situation.  I gently guided Harrington on whom to call first.  (I say gently, but the whole thing was a blur, so I could have been yelling). Unfortunately, this incident occurred on a Saturday.  Since it is not quite the peak of flu season, the pediatrician’s office was closed.  Harrington made his way to our doctor’s preferred after-hours clinic, but since they didn’t have the necessary tools to extract foreign objects from little boys’ noses, Thomas had to be admitted into the ER.   I was notified of this unexpected turn of events by this text.

texts while your child is in the emergency room without mom, mom guilt
Conclusion: the doctor removed the tiny cap to a red
flashlight on a ring.  Also, note he took the time
to tell me he had hand sanitizer.  He has my heart forever.

With the distraction of my son in the ER without me (the one who always handles these health/emergency situations), it seemed that my turn to speak came rather fast, even though I was the last session.  Earlier in the day, I watched as a presenter’s computer did not work for her session and thought my bad luck card had already been played with the whole “emergency room nose situation.”  But alas, my computer would not connect to the Internet. So I had to use a different computer, one that did not have he same version of PowerPoint so I was without my notes.


Thankfully, I obsessively practiced (so much so I'm pretty sure my parents and Harrington probably could have given the presentation).  Although I was unable to deliver the specific stats, I still felt that I was able to communicate my point.  

Here is my self-proclaimed masterpiece.  

Now, I am my toughest critic, and I can say, without a doubt, I did pretty decent, especially taking all of these factors into consideration.  I don’t think I rambled too much, which is a tragic side effect when I become nervous. I think I projected my voice and hopefully gave some useful takeaways.

So while I was there to share knowledge, I do believe I gained some important takeaways myself:

I really needn't stop with the maternalgatekeeping (according to Sheryl Sandberg) because Harrington handled the emergency like a boss.  I mean, he not only brought the hand sanitizer to the ER, but used it often.  He also didn’t freak out which helped Thomas keep his cool, too.

Also, I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to social media and blogging.  I need to stop second-guessing myself already.  Lately, I feel like I am just a bundle of insecure nerves, both professionally and personally.  I replay conversations, lesson plans, presentation notes, and I wonder if they are good enough.  I mean, I was more nervous to post my presentation to SlideShare than talk about my personal stories on my blog.  Time to stop this nonsense.

How do you find confidence when you putting yourself out there for the world to see?

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