On October 16, 2015, I walked up in front of a crowd of people at Volta, a local coffee shop, to present my PechaKucha talk: “The Power of Storytelling.”
I was nervous and more than a bit scared.
I was first on the bill at the quarterly PechaKucha Night event and, although I had prepared rigorously for this moment, it hit me as I stood there that I had never even seen a single PechaKucha presentation before and here I was, about to give mine.
PechaKucha is an unconventional presentation format. You choose 20 slides and each plays for 20 seconds, switching automatically. What this does is force you to memorize a 6 minute and 40 second presentation down to the second.
I have given many presentations and talks over the years, but have never been forced into this rigid of a framework. For this reason, I practiced daily for a month to get it just right. Even after I had this presentation memorized, I was still afraid because it was new and unusual. How would it go? There were times when I almost wished I had never said yes to do this in the first place.
As I stood there and started to speak, the preparation kicked in. As soon as I started, the fear disappeared. I did not give my presentation exactly as written because I let the authentic feelings of the room guide me through it. I walked to my seat after finishing thinking, “I’m so glad I did this. It was new and I was scared, but now I’ve done it! I did something I didn’t think I could do!”
There are few feelings like doing something that scares you. It is a wonderful rush of positive energy because you can see that, yes, you can do it! Doing something new is how we grow.
Do something new! Do something that scares you. You’ll be so glad that you did.
The co-founder of Self Narrate, Jaron Jones, also gave a PechaKucha talk. I encourage you to watch it as well:
Click Here to learn more about Gainesville’s PechaKucha Night events.