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New Career Step - cellophane — LiveJournal
the story of an invisible girl
New Career Step
I am hitting a new milestone in my career next month. I am speaking at a technical conference in California, the Intranets 2003. I haven't talked about it much yet, nor have I posted it at all...mostly because I feel pretty weird about it. I'm almost embarrassed. Does that seem strange? I feel like I'm doing something I'm not "supposed" to be doing, just because I haven't done it before. It's exciting and scary, both at the same time. Although I did teach a few classes at my previous job, speaking at a conference like this is a completely new experience for me.

This is a fairly small conference, but I'm told it's a good one. C has spoken at it and attended it a few times in years past. C is the one who convinced me to submit a paper several months ago. Not only did he convince me, he helped me with the actual proposal...I wouldn't be doing this at all if it weren't for him! It wouldn't have occurred to me to try such a thing.

Even when I submitted the proposal, I still didn't really expect it would get accepted. After all, nobody has heard of me, and I have no speaking credentials or anything. Still, it seemed like it'd be fun to at least try. Ya gotta start somewhere, right? I looked at what they were planning to cover, picked a pertinent topic with which I have some expertise (Interpreting User Requirements), and threw together a paragraph describing what I'd like to say. C helped me tighten it up, plus he put in a good word for me with one of the organizers he knows.

I assumed that they'd reject it, but I was still pleased that at least I'd given it a shot. When they told me they wanted me to come speak, I was floored! They only gave me a half-hour time slot, but still...they wanted me to speak! At a professional conference! Wow. It took me a long time before I even believed it myself, and much longer before I stirred up enough boldness to tell other people about it. It felt to me like it was all so inconceivable, people would just laugh if I told them. Plus, I kept expecting that something would go wrong, that I wouldn't end up doing it for some reason...then I'd just feel embarrassed that I'd mentioned it.

Tonight though, I made my plane reservations. I guess it's official...I'm going! A month or so ago, I wrote my paper and created some PowerPoint slides. (Heck, I hadn't even used PowerPoint before writing this; that shows how new to this stuff I am.) I still need to make hotel and car arrangements. I also need to look over my paper again, tweak it, and make sure the timing and such is right. There are lots of details left to be addressed, but I'm doing this. A new feather in my resume, even if it's just a small one...it's all very exciting, even while it's overwhelming!
read 16 comments | talk to me!
thenisaid From: thenisaid Date: September 13th, 2003 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

For an extra feeling of security...

...print out overheads of your PowerPoint slides. In case of Powerpoint, computer, or projector failure, the hotel or conference center can always come up with an overhead. It's a lot better than having to say, "What you would be seeing now is..."

If your speaking has the warmth, humor, and dare I say bubbliness of your writing, you'll knock their socks off.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 08:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: For an extra feeling of security...

Oh, good suggestion, I'll do that.

Why thank you, I appreciate that!
guingel From: guingel Date: September 14th, 2003 06:07 am (UTC) (Link)
wow, that's awesome! Go you! I guess I should keep your experience in mind when applying for scholarships ;)

Good luck, I'm sure you'll be fantastic!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 08:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes...you never know for sure!

Thanks. (:
drteeth26 From: drteeth26 Date: September 14th, 2003 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations! Just remember, if you're nervous, just imagine everyone in their underwear...:)

Seriously, best of luck. :)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 03:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
heh...that might be distracting and potentially scary!

..but thanks.
drteeth26 From: drteeth26 Date: September 15th, 2003 04:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
Apparently that's one way to relieve any possible tension about giving a big speech. :) Also, always remember to go to the ladies' room BEFORE the speech...:)
jkling From: jkling Date: September 14th, 2003 07:55 am (UTC) (Link)

Speaking experience

"After all, nobody has heard of me, and I have no speaking credentials or anything."

Well, I think you did a very nice job speaking at panels at PenguiCon. It may not be "official" experience, but being on panels is definitely speaking experience, so keep that in mind.

And it's good to get in a little over your head from time to time. It challenges you and more often than not you'll rise to the occasion -- and what a great feeling it is!

My only similar experience was when I was invited on the Laura Lee internet radio show a couple of years ago in connection to Norwescon in Seattle. She had 3 guests from the convention on her show that week. John Cramer, James Hogan, and me.

As one friend of mine put it (borrowing from a Sesame Street ditty, I believe): "One of these things is not like the others."

I wasn't brilliant, but I didn't embarrass myself, and it was a neat experience.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 03:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Speaking experience

Thank you, that's encouraging to hear, especially since you didn't know me when you heard me speak (so you had no bias).

Yeah, it's definitely good to flex my muscles, do things I haven't tried yet! I'm very excited about the whole thing.

Sounds like a very cool experience you had too.
thinggtwoo From: thinggtwoo Date: September 14th, 2003 07:57 am (UTC) (Link)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 08:52 am (UTC) (Link)
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: September 14th, 2003 09:43 am (UTC) (Link)

that is fucking awsome!

this sounds like a fantastic oportunity...

(advice on printing out overhead slides is very good... also a burned CD copy of it also is another good backup)

Go get 'em Tiger!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: that is fucking awsome!

Thanks for the encouragement! I'm getting pretty excited about it. . (:
(Deleted comment)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 15th, 2003 08:36 am (UTC) (Link)
Okay, I'll do so!
cannibal From: cannibal Date: September 16th, 2003 01:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
If Bill wants to come down just to hear your talk, just ask Nancy Garman, I'm sure it'd be fine. They might be willing to part with a 1-day pass, but much less likely... an expo-only pass should be easy to get, though.
abrokenstarr From: abrokenstarr Date: September 15th, 2003 04:22 am (UTC) (Link)
Good luck, I hope it goes really well!
read 16 comments | talk to me!