Here I am, the Monday morning after my second SQL Saturday speaking engagement. I like to sit with a cup of coffee early in the morning and unpack all my thoughts and experiences from the weekend. As I go over the events and feelings of the weekend, the thing that sticks out the most is just how much I enjoy these events!
The nerves kicked in!
This was my second SQL Saturday at which to speak, and boy oh boy was it a big one! There were over a thousand people registered to attend! WOW OH WOW! As I walked through the sea of attendees, I saw nervous faces, excited faces, scared faces, and happy faces. There was an electricity in the air, people were there ready to learn and share. I love that feeling!
I must admit, I was terrified. I spent most of my time in the speaker room trying to calm my nerves and going over my presentation slides over and over (and fighting the ridiculous urge to change things at the last minute!). At one point I said to Lance Tidwell (t/b) “I have got to calm my nerves, I need to go walk around and see people!” At that moment, it was cemented that I TRULY am an extrovert. Who in their right mind calms themselves by being around a lot of people? Well…me.
How did I calm my nerves?
People calm the jitters in many ways. I tried talking to other speakers. I drank water. I listened to P!nk (my favorite artist). I even walked outside and sang several songs. The time was drawing near, so I went with my best stand-by… dancing to Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling” I put my earbuds in and danced through it twice….in the speaker room….in my seat. True story, Tim Mitchell (t/b) took video. aaaaahhhh #SQLFamily!
It was time.
The time was upon us…..and here we go. My fingers were tingly, my mind and heart were racing….and I was walking into a huge room that would soon be filled with people…looking at me, waiting for me to impart some wisdom. (I might think too much) I went in and set up and people started filing in. Funny, the jitters started calming and I started really enjoying the moment.
Actually speaking in front of people.
I had an absolute blast. My audience was full of people ready to listen and discuss. My session is very interactive, so that terrifies some people but also seems to bring them in by the end. I try to be entertaining and enlightening. My biggest thrill is to make people laugh. As a very animated person, I never stand still. About half way through my session I hit my step goal for the day. It was so exciting, I just had to share! Everyone laughed and some even applauded. Inviting the audience in to my bubble is a way I hope to make them feel that they are truly important to me. After all, strangers are just friends you have you yet to meet!
My take away.
Speaking at SQL Saturdays has given me a chance to share my thoughts and ideas with others. If I can help even one person see things in a different way, or if they can gain some insight into their lives, I have given back and helped someone. There have been many people in my past who have inspired me. My hope is that I can inspire others to find a passion, find an answer, or find a way to give back and pay forward.
Thank you so much for reading!