Explain the birds and the bees to my daughter...wear a bathing suit...teach a group of 7th graders while my skirt is tucked into my pantyhose...these are all things I would rather do than make a presentation to a group of my peers.
But, since I don’t have a daughter (two boys so I’ll leave that talk to my husband), I never wear a bathing suit except at the beach, and I never wear pantyhose, much less a skirt (hello! I climb under the computer tables all day long to plug in the elusive missing cables)...a few years ago I decided to sign up for a presentation slot at the NCSLMA conference, and I have done it almost every year since.
I have attended the NCSLMA conference every year since my first year in the media center. Sometimes, I would have difficultly finding a session to attend because most seemed to be geared towards elementary and middle grades only. After a few years of complaining to myself about this, I decided that since I was a high school person, maybe I would squash that fear of speaking in front of my peers and sign up for a spot. At that time, DPI was discussing the idea of requiring Graduation Projects for all schools. Since our school had required the projects as part of graduation since 2000, I felt like I should impart the knowledge that had made ours such a success. Would anyone care about this? Would anyone show up to the presentation? Did I actually know what I was talking about? To say I stressed out would be an understatement. But, thankfully the presentation was a success. There was an overflow crowd, I ran out of handouts, there were some great questions, and I don’t think anyone walked out.
So, for the next few years, I did this same presentation until DPI decided that maybe requiring the projects wasn’t such a good idea (shame on them). During this time, I also was drafted by NCCAT one time to present on their National Boards support program. I was more than happy to brag on this since I have taken advantage of it many times as a participant and a mentor. And last year, I presented once again. This time I talked about “fun”draising. We all need more money, don’t we? And it should be fun!
You might be asking, “What’s the point in this article?” Well, it’s just a little pep talk for those of you who are on the fence about presenting. We all are great at something, but might not realize that other people would like to hear about it. I think we all feel that what we do in our program is probably what everyone else does...but a lot of times that is not true. Teach us! Share with us! And, if it is something that we all do, at least know that some of us feel better about ourselves to know that others do the same thing. Are you ready to present now? If this isn’t enough to push you over the edge, maybe you should take into account that a lot of conferences waive your registration fee for presenting. This was always a nice way to convince my director that I had to go to the conference, and she could pay for food and travel instead! But, the Call to Present form will be available only a few more days. So, before July 15th, you need to fill out an application at http://tinyurl.com/5uzqmg7.
And finally, my journey to sheer terror has not stopped with my small group presentations. This year, I am the president-elect of the NCSLMA. So, during my first presentation to the whole group if I happen to have my skirt tucked into my pantyhose...don’t giggle...too much.