It’s good for me…really!
Posted July 30, 2008on:
I’ve mentioned before that I hate presenting. Not because I’m lazy or unmotivated, but because I suffer from performance anxiety in the worst way. Yep. I get vultures (not little butterflies) in my stomach. I think they’re waiting for me to die of fright, which is a possibility.
I present at 8:30 tomorrow morning. I’m talking about using free screen capture software (specifically Jing and Camstudio. I know, some people hate these, but they’re pretty easy to use.) And in the spirit of looking at the positive side, let’s talk about the benefits of presenting.
1. It’s good to practice. As a librarian, I do presentations in various ways throughout the week, whether I call it that or not. When I teach, I’m presenting. When I pitch an idea or program to colleagues, I’m presenting. When I share conference info at a staff meeting, I’m presenting.
2. It’s a great way to share ideas and get feedback. I work in a relatively small library at a mid-size university. So there is a limited amount of opportunity to get feedback and share in person. Getting out where there are people from other places with other types of experience allows me to expand my horizons. At this stage of my career, I learn as much from what people ask or have to say about info I’ve provided as I do from actually doing the presentation.
3. It makes me research and try new things. Not that this would likely be a problem for me because I like learning about stuff, but presenting does help me gather my thoughts into coherent form. It also keeps me a bit more focused since I tend to be all over the map with my interests. (I think I’m slightly ADD, seriously!)
4. Maybe someone will learn something from me. I think it’s important for librarians to share. It isn’t possible for most of us to explore everything we want to and conferences are a great way to find out what’s going on and what would be useful for us to try. And by presenting, I get to add to the platter.
5. I get to meet people. This is one of the best parts. When I put myself up in front of crowd, I make myself accessible to others. I’ve had great conversations with people after I’ve finished a presentation and have met some wonderful people. As an introvert, if I don’t force myself to be visible, I’ll contentedly skulk in the last row with a few seats between me and the next person. (If you know me and see me skulking, please invite me over to sit with you. I’m just shy, not unfriendly!)
With a large coffee in hand, I’m ready to demonstrate screen captures tomorrow. The hope is that the audience will participate with some questions so it’s more of a workshop and not just me standing up there talking at people.