Real World is less than a week away! Real World presentation on Intermediate Database Programming: Done. Real World presentation on Reporting Tools: Done. Training Day morning session on Database programming in Real Studio: Done. Training Day afternoon session on Polishing your Real Studio applications: Done. Dry runs on all presentations with staff: Done.
Usually this is the time that I start getting really, really nervous. I start having dreams about flubbing sessions and stammering during every talk. Instead, I had those dreams two weeks ago just before we did our first runs through the presentations.
I must admit that public speaking is not my idea of fun. I get up in front of a crowd and it feels like my brain is mush and my mouth is full of cotton. When I was editing all of my Real Studio training videos I discovered that I used a lot of filler words (um, ah, so, you know, etc). So I decided to do something about it.
Early in 2012 I started attending Toastmasters. If you are not familiar with Toastmasters it’s an international organization whose sole purpose is help make its members become better speakers. The big goals in Toastmasters are the speeches. You start with an ice breaker speech and I’ve found it to be the hardest speech. I’ve been fairly aggressive in my speeches as I’ve done 5 in the past year and been Toastmaster twice (which in our club is a lot like giving a speech).
We meet twice a month and in each meeting there are number of roles that are divvied up among attendees. There’s a timer, someone to give a word of the day, a joke master, speech evaluators, table topics master, and vote counter (we vote who does the best speech, evaluation, and table topics). Perhaps one of the best (worst?) roles you get assigned at meetings is the role of Grammarian – the person who counts everyone’s filler words.
Once you get that role in a meeting you can’t help but notice the use of filler words – whenever ANYONE speaks. Literally I mean everyone. At times it’s annoying to be so cognizant of their use. Then you start catching yourself using them. Made me mad for a while. Eventually you start using a pause instead of a filler word. I’ve only been a member for a little over a year but I’ve seen it happen with newbies to the group several times. I think the goal is to strive to get better each time you speak.
So I’m not nervous about the speaking in public any more. Okay, I’m not AS nervous. 🙂
Really, about the only things left to do for Real World is put the final changes to our two new products we’ll announce and the major product upgrade for the conference. And then practice, practice, practice doing demo’s and writing up final notes.
If you are attending Real World you might want to think about attending our Training Day. It should be a great way to start off an interesting week. More information at http://www.bkeeney.com/real-studio-training-2013/
If you are attending Real World please make sure you stop me and introduce yourself. I enjoy hearing from people who have been reading this blog.
See you in Orlando!