Some really nice people asked me to co-present an audio conference last month. I was very nervous about the whole thing since I'd never done anything like this before, and it reminded me of how I felt several years ago when I forced myself to do something that I was terrified of doing: going back to school to get a degree. I agonized for three years about whether I was smart enough to do it or if I would fail. Finally I decided that I didn't want to be at the end of my life with nothing but a list of "what ifs" to look back on and so I forced myself to jump off the metaphorical cliff. If I had known then how my life would be now I certainly wouldn't have waited so long (probably the "what if" I still regret).

I have to say I was flattered to be described as "a industry leader" in the conference description. I don't think of myself as a leader of anything unless Girl Scout leader counts. So I felt that once the conference was publicized I had a lot of expectations to fulfill.

Putting together the powerpoint presentation during not one, but two internet failures just about drove me crazy. At one point I thought I'd lost the whole presentation but fortunately it was just hidden on a remote network (hallelujah!). I double-checked everything for spelling and accuracy and sent it off to the publishers.
And did I mention that this was going to be a live broadcast? Oh God, one mistake and no way to do it over. To say I was a bundle of nerves was the absolute understatement. Well, I'm a firm believer in the phrase "fake it until you make it", so I did.

The day of the live broadcast I had my power point printed out, my script highlighted with the sections I was presenting, bottles of water, throat spray, land-line phone, clock and laptop spread out over my dining room table in orderly fashion. The call came in from the conference center and before I knew it - it was over! I didn't forget anything, the timing came in on schedule, there were questions from the audience--I had done it! I had jumped off another cliff and landed safely.

Each time I do something like this I get a little braver. There's an affirmation that's been printed on t-shirts, coffee mugs and the like and I think I'll adopt it as one of my mottoes: "what would you do if you knew you could not fail?" The short answer to that question is..............everything.


Anonymous said...

Congrats! I knew you would do a great job!

Love the motto too!

RW said...

I couldn't be prouder. I remember the person I married as having not a whole lot of upper-level confidence ingrained in her.

You have come a million miles and I love you.

Avitable said...

Awesome - congratulations! It's amazing what you can accomplish. Even despite a cranky old man for a husband! :)

Miss Britt said...

I am not at all surprised.

But THRILLED for you! (and proud, Ok? Is that weird?)

Mrs RW said...

Britt: it's okay if you're proud; weird, but okay.
Avitable: cranky old men add to my 'tude. I have a lot to prove.
Robin: if you succeed you win; if you fail, you learn. In other words, you can't lose.