Speaking into a microphone

Work

On Tuesday I did something new for the first time. And I feel like I failed miserably. I hosted a webinar. Back in the beginning of the year, I sent out proposals to a bunch of conferences with the goal of giving a talk. A conference by NAGW (National Association of Government Web professionals) accepted my submission. I was supposed to give a talk in Utah in September. Due to calendar issues I had to cancel that appearance. So they asked me whether I was up for giving the talk as a webinar to their audience, which I happily agreed to.

Turns out I need people with faces in front of me! Once the time came to start the webinar I was so excited/anxious that I was barely able to keep my breath down. It almost felt like a small panic attack. I don’t know how it came across to the listeners (it was audio-only) but I felt like I could hardly talk or speak. Which made me speak so unbelievably fast that I went through the whole material in half the time it usually takes me. And I bet I forgot a whole lot of things that I should have said. I do know that I am excited and nervous every time I start a talk in front of a crowd of people. But usually this nervousness fades after 3-5 minutes, once I scanned the room and felt the (positive) reactions of the crowd. After all, your listeners want you to "succeed" and give a great talk. But I had nothing of that during the webinar. I had no reassurance that people actually understood what I was talking about. In any case that felt bad. I learned something from that experience. The first reaction was to never give a webinar again. The second experience was that I need to have a different setup next time. I need to interact with people and for that I will try to use the chat-tool that every webinar software offers. I don’t know how well that works, but I will do what works for me almost always: Be frank and open and tell the audience about my anxiousness and let me help them through their interaction in the chat. It think that’s at least worth a try before abandoning webinars altogether.

August has started and it’s the last month at my current client. This means that I will begin to do a lot more pairing with the permanent developers, and less writing features/code myself. This way knowledge transfer is increased and the company and the people get more out of it. This will be more demanding than the months before, but it’s worth it.

If you’ve been part of this newsletter community for some time, you might remember that I told you about an online course on testing, that I was about to create and release.
I still am doing this, but I got stuck. It is the first course that I am creating and will no experience I hit some road blocks that I couldn’t solve on my own. Thus, I entered an online community/course on course building, how meta πŸ˜‰.
With this help I am absolutely sure that I can solve the issues and create an interesting pilot course. I will reach out to you again, once I am looking for participants for that.

Personal

I bought yet another bike. 😝 I do love my bikes, and I found a great bargain on eBay with a steel frame, only one year old for half the original price. So I bought it. It’s a fixed-gear bike, which means you cannot coast and have to move the legs at all times. Riding home on it yesterday evening I noticed how incredibly a meditating experience this is. As a beginner with fixed-gear bikes like me, you have to be so 100% aware of what you’re doing at all times. There was no space left in my head to think about anything but moving my legs and riding this bike ("don’t stop pedaling"). Because if you, for one second, stop pedaling, the pedal will still move upwards (rotate) and your leg will move and might catapult you out of the saddle. It’s demanding.

In other news, our older daughter will start with school in about one week. We are incredibly excited and a tiny bit afraid 😬.

Thinking

This is getting long already, so I’ll end this quickly soon. Last time I thought about doing scales in my professional development and how that correlates to doing interval training in sports. But that was wrong. Doing scales is not at all like intervals, but more like easy runs/long runs. You don’t do anything technically demanding but you are doing ground-work, fundamentals, basics β€” whatever you call that. I had a lengthy discussion about this with my mastermind group. They were the ones pointing out this difference to me.

See you next week.

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