It begins with a thought
It begins with a thought,
There’s something that’s caught in my head
An idea, an experience that I want to share
It leads to me thinking of where I can speak
And to whom?
To finding a meetup,
A room full of peers.
But how to put form to it, what should I say?
How do I handle my fears?
How do I stand up in front of a crowd?
And how do I say what I’m thinking aloud?
Where do I start?
To which god should I pray?
But it’s not about gods, it’s just meeting with folks
There’s no secret to it, no learning the ropes
Just sharing the things that we know and we love
From there all it takes is one shove the right way
Because all of us have something worthwhile to say
So I write up my thoughts
I peruse CFPs
I learn about slide decks
Find stock photos for free
Build up my courage, submit distillations
And shortly thereafter receive invitations to speak
And then I feel weak.
I haven’t done this before.
Will I be able to stand, take the floor?
Make sure my slides and my words are connected?
Will the things that I say be embraced or rejected?
I arrive at the venue, it’s empty and bare.
I head to the front and look back over where
I’ll be speaking in front of this jury of peers
I hope they won’t judge me too harshly up here.
(No matter how much I might strive for composure
I can’t shake this fear that I’ll die of exposure)
But finally I meet with the host of the evening
We focus on detail. (Remember, keep breathing)
What kind of laptop? Do I have the right cable?
Where should I put it? Right here on this table?
USB what? Maybe HDMI?
So many adapters, we give each a try.
Will microphones pick up the noise if I shake?
Was wearing an outfit like this a mistake?
I’m nervous and tense, I can hear my heart beating
As people file in and we kick off the meeting.
It’s funny how quickly the time flashes by.
All the practice was worth it.
I don’t know why I was worried.
The only complaint I can make is I hurried
To get through some slides that might not have been clear.
But I know I’ll be better the next time I’m here!
Because now that I’m done
I can see by their faces
I’ve brought up some points
That have put them through paces
I thank them for coming and paying attention
Now all that remains is to ask,