I did it and I survived

I did it and I survived

So I am literally 9 minutes removed from my first “big stage” presentation at ISTE, a 1 in 3 (1 topic, 3 minutes) on design thinking. I don’t think I’ve ever learned as much in three minutes as I just did. Not from my presentation, but from the act of presenting. I’ve presented hundreds of times. I wasn’t nervous about this at all, I love my topic, and I was excited to have been selected. And then I got on the stage. And my legs started shaking. And I had no idea what I was even talking about.

The first few slides were rough. Even though I’m generally a go with the flow kind of presenter, I decided to make notes for this one. BIG mistake. Why would I change what works for me just because I thought it was what I was “supposed to do” – that’s not me. First lesson learned.

Once I ditched the notes things started to fall into place. Until I got to my second to last slide, the mic shut off, and I was done. When I practiced, I was always way under. When I presented? Apparently I was going to go over (except they don’t let you). Second lesson? You don’t always talk faster when you’re nervous. Sometimes you’re really slow. The good news is the last slide was a throw away that I added just in case I was short on time. Third lesson? That was a smart plan.

Fourth lesson: Pushing your comfort zone is terrifying, but 100% worth it. Nothing like jumping right into the deep end with something like this and doing it at ISTE. I learned a lot about myself in three minutes. And I’ll take all those lesson into the next presentation. I’ll apply my design thinking process! I had the challenge, planned my presentation, gave my presentation, and now it’s time to make it better! To get feedback, to learn from those around me, and to redesign for future success!

Finally, the lesson most worth noting. I did it. It wasn’t perfect. I don’t know if I’ll even be able to bring myself to watch the video. But I did it, and I’m here, and despite being my own toughest critic, people got to hear about an idea I’m passionate about.

So finally, a few tips for the next “newbie” to the 1 in 3 or the IGNITE presentation

1. If you’re a girl, wear a dress with pockets so you have a place for the mic. Dark colors are also good, so that they can hide the mic.

2. There’s a timer that counts down for you. If you’re on the opposite side from the timer, make a note to pay extra attention.

3. They aren’t kidding. They WILL shut off the mic and lights at 3 minutes. You won’t be the only one to get cut short. It’s fine.

4. Take pictures and love every minute of it.

5. The people backstage with you are awesome – make friends, you’re all in this together.

6. Your friends will still love you no matter what happens on stage, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the same time slot as your boss, you might even get a congratulatory hug.