It was like some kind of bizarre game of I have never. I have never given a presentation before. I have never used a projector system. I have never stood in front of a group of people I mostly didn't know and spoken, I have never stood behind a lecturn.
In the mindset of a woman who's answer to a large amount of questions is 'because it's there' or 'because I can' you would perhaps think that standing up in front of anyone and explaining what exactly I am involved with on a day to basis at work might be quite easy. Well, part of what I do. I was asked specifically to talk about social media and blogging in local government. It ended up, as you can see below, focusing quite heavily on social media in the presentation, though I spoke in greater depth about blogging and how it's been used and will be used in the future.
It's not easy. But it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be either, once I'd stopped shaking. I relaxed, the stats and numbers came without looking at notes and the usual ridiculous enthusiasm reared it's (ugly?) head. Actually, it was quite fun, and the interesting and challenging questions at the end of the presentation were a bit of an eye opener - I still assume everyone else is ahead of us or at least on the same page - it transpires some haven't even opened the book yet. The conversations afterwards were eye opening and fun too - though I don't still know why a man called Steve would spend such a ridiculous amount of time telling me I could leave the public sector and make a lot of money if I wanted to. It was an interesting perspective on an Americans perception of the value of working in public sector, mind.
My rather appallingly put together presentation can be seen below. I kept it simple because I needed to. There's an audio recording floating about somewhere which I might post at some point too.
Finally, I'd strongly recommend going along to the Northern Bloggers meet up which happens every month at the Old Broadcasting House in Leeds. Advice given, interesting talks, slightly geeky but not intimidatingly so. If you do, I'll see you next month because I'm a convert now too. If nothing else, they took a chance on a speaker they barely knew, were entirely complimentary in their feedback and as a result, should I ever be asked again, my first reaction will not be to run as quickly as my legs can take me in the other direction. Butterfly wings: flap flap.