Coming into this year, I knew that I needed to be a presenter in a conference. I have been to many conferences before, but the first as a presenter. I hoped my attendees would be able to use what I was presenting in their practice. Although a little intimidating, I knew that It would work out in the end because for the most part presenting is my job. I figured I would have a partner to help me out when I was slipping and a content I was an expert in. This was not the case. I did not have a partner and I was presenting on a topic I only started researching two and a half weeks ago. Scared in the beginning, I worked hard to become as comfortable as possible with the content I was going to present. I felt my confidence grow each and everyday leaving the classroom after various feedback from both my fellow classmates and also my professors. It seemed like the day would never come, then all of the sudden, it was one day away.
Knowing that I need a goodnight sleep in order to do my best work, I did what I needed to and forced myself to go to sleep. I woke up excited for Great15 and happy that the day had finally come. As we completed last minute preparations, nerves began to set in. The clock began to move faster than ever. My presentation was getting closer and I had noway to stop it.
Meeting with Steven Howell, the welcoming speaker, before my presentation somehow made me feel nervous and confident at the same time. He would be attending my presentation and an expert in what I was going to present. Knowing that I was going to quote and mention some of the same research made me feel confident that I did the right research and focused on the right things. My only thought was what would I be able to bring that he did not already know? I stopped trying to focus on this and began to focus on what I did know and what I designed that I thought would be an awesome experience for my attendees.
When presentations begin they go a lot faster then when planned and practiced. Technology problems happen, people were talking and do not listen to directions, and others just did not understand. Accounting for a lot of this from the beginning made my session run smooth. Keeping my eyes on the audience showed me that they were engaged throughout my presentation once it began. I forgot somethings I meant to say and skipped over a few things because of time, but overall I ended my presentation extremely happy with what I had accomplished. I felt a weight on my chest lift as I concluded presenting for 30 minutes something that I had been working on for what had seemed like forever. The rest of the day ran smooth and I continued to learn more not only from my colleagues but from the amazing educators that traveled to attend our conference. When the conference was over it almost seemed as though it went too fast and I wanted more time. Having a place to meet after was a great idea and also reassured my confidence in my presentation.
Having someone that is an expert in what you are trying to achieve tell you that you were amazing and to keep doing what you are doing is reassuring. Not only am I proud of what I did today, I am also proud of how I plan to use this in September. I believe that I was able to create a learning experience that my students will love, as well as learn. Although I have a lot more work to do, I cannot wait till September.