On Wednesday, I participated in Ignite. The premise is that you have 5 minutes and 20 slides that switch every 15 seconds to tell a story. I talked about Science and Zombies, which correlates with my book Undead Obsessed. The experience was incredibly scary and nerve wracking.
I normally don't mind talking in front of people. I do presentations and readings at libraries, but for some reason, this experience was completely different. First of all, there were a lot more people there than I'm used to. Preparing for the presentation took a while. Trying to distill information down to 5 minutes is not an easy task. Finding the pictures was probably the easiest, but then I had to time it perfectly to make sure I didn't go too fast or too slow. It was a challenge.
I also have social anxiety, which means that I'm always afraid I'll say something stupid or offensive when I'm in public, and this situation wasn't any different. Part of the nervousness and scariness came from thinking something dumb would come out of my mouth. And after it was done, I ran through the entire night in my mind just to make sure I didn't say anything that would upset others.
I went third, and when I was done, it was such a relief. I can't tell you how incredibly happy I was to get that done. And during the intermission, I had some people come talk to me about zombies. It was really cool. I really enjoy talking about zombies.
Pushing the nerves and scariness aside, it was a blast to do this presentation. I really enjoy being able to share my work with others. Whether or not that translates into new readers of my work, well, we'll just have to wait and see.
But I must say, during the rehearsal, I was surprised to be told by two different people that they knew who I was. I have no idea how they knew me, I had no idea who they were, but it made me feel good. It made me think that maybe I'm not as invisible as I think I am.
Despite my social anxiety and the fear I felt doing this presentation, I'm glad I did it. Hopefully, people in the audience learned something new. Hopefully, I found some new fans. Either way, I got myself out there. Just don't ask if I plan on doing it again any time soon.