I’ve been diligently getting ready for my part of the preconference workshop that Amanda Etches-Johnson, Jason Griffey, Jenica Rogers-Urbanek, Steve Lawson and I are doing at Internet Librarian. It’s been slow going. I’ve gotten so used to presenting in an instruction-like way, and that’s not what I’m going for with this presentation. I’ve also gotten use to sustaining a complex thought for about the length of a blog post. (Actually, no. I sustain a complex thought the length of a blog post on the good days. The rest of the time I think in one- or two-sentence bursts.) So here I am, trying to sustain a complex thought for an hour’s worth of speaking and trying to make it sound as simple as possible.
I realize this isn’t actually so hard. I’ve done it before. Which left me wondering why I’m rather obsessively going back over details, shuffling things around, thinking up better examples, and then reworking things over and over and over and over. And as odd as it seems, I think it’s because I’m nervous.
I’m not nervous about presenting to the workshop attendees. Goodness, I do that nearly every day. I’m not nervous about my content, though I do think it’s probably of a different tone than most people will be expecting. No, I’m nervous about my co-presenters seeing me present. These are people I’ve looked up to for years. These are people that I look to for inspiration, for clarity, for affirmation. These are people I’ve come to consider friends. Who wouldn’t be nervous revealing their public-speaking selves to such an audience?