Friday, 24 August 2018

on photography, public speaking and performance anxiety.....

Some months ago I thought it would be a good idea to volunteer to speak at a Landscape photography conference.

On Landscape Meeting of Minds Conference had slots in the lunch break for short ' Lightning talks'.

I wanted to push myself, as that's the only way I can force myself out of my my comfort zone. It doesn't do to get too comfortable.

I had an idea that it would make me create something really clever that I could share with the delegates; a small folding book perhaps, on a single sheet of paper.

To share my love of books.

The possibilities seemd endless.

And then this week I saw the conference line up on social media.

My name was there.

I stopped in my tracks, and an overwhelming feeling of terror came over me.

The main speakers are all incredibly well known photographers. Respected individuals.

And then there is me. Someone who isn't really interested in regular landscapes.

Who is just as keen to make images with her phone as she is with fancy kit.

Who doesn't use a tripod, or a darkroom.

Who gets very nervous when put in front of a group of people especially when technology is involved.......

I saw my name, and for several days I couldn't sleep properly.

I wondered what I had been thinking all those months back.

What would they think if they knew I was more interested right now in making a childrens' book about a mountain?

I turned to Youtube for some advice on performance anxiety, and public speaking tips.

I found it surprisingly helpful.

I now have a plan...

I will go on stage  sucking on a straw, and counting my breathing very carefully.....

Then I will sing a song with my guitar about how nervous I am; Joe Kowan is really funny on the subject of stage fright;

If time allows after that I will come up with a brilliant idea to share, as advised for speakers at TED talks.

I wonder what that could be?

The world needs fewer cones, perhaps?

Spend less time on Instagram?

Only buy coffee if it is in a real cup?

Carry less camera kit?

a photographer on a hike

coffee tastes best in real cups

But first I need some props.

Something to shock my audience or wake them up.

I considered using an alarm clock, a balloon to burst or a really large zoom lens that is too heavy to carry.

I need a 'hook'.....

But I don't want to tell people how to behave. Nor to get on a high horse.

I want to inspire, not lecture.

So I really need to get my thinking cap on, and come up with something that no one else can tell them.

Something about me perhaps.

That shouldn't be so hard.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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