I went and talked to my dad's computer club yesterday about self-publishing and how it works. Ahead of time, I was feeling as if I really hadn't prepared. I only had about 20 slides for a 45-minute presentation, and I hadn't bothered to run through what I was going to say, not even to check timing. I had a vague idea of what I'd talk about, more or less, and a little bit of structure prepared. Some talk about writing as a hobby -- since this was the computer club, I figured not everyone would be writers; some warnings about keeping expectations reasonable and avoiding scams; and then a walk through CreateSpace. Nice and simple. But still, driving over, I was feeling a little insecure.
It was great. I talked smoothly, my audience was attentive and appreciative, and I got lots of interesting questions at the end, plus plenty of positive feedback after we wrapped up (and not just from my dad and step-mom, who are sort of obligated to tell me I'm wonderful!)
I forget how much I truly enjoy presenting when I'm not doing it. I'm such an introvert that I mostly dread interactions with lots of people, but put me on a stage or in front of audience, and I...well, it's not relax, exactly, but sort of it is. It's the lovely combination of a little bit of adrenaline, pumping me up, plus a -- OH! It's a flow state!! How exciting to realize that. A flow state is when you're fully present in the moment you're in, focused and concentrating, but also energized. Wikipedia says "In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand."
When I give a presentation, I go into flow. For that time, I'm just there, just trying to convey something to my audience, to connect with them and figure out what they need to learn and how to reach them. It's a lovely feeling.
I think I should be looking for a job that gives me an opportunity to talk in front of crowds a lot. Or maybe start a business? Except that I can't really travel. Oh, but in 14 months, the kid will be 18. So fairly soon, I really can travel all I like. Wow, that's such a strange thought. I could go places without worrying about who will take care of my boy. Hmm, so maybe I should start thinking about what kind of jobs involve presentations.