Write about a moment experienced through your body…
OK, I’m not sure about this one, Tina what did you get me into?
Tick, tock time drags by. Walk to the room, stand in front. Feel the space, get used to space assigned to you. Listen to your voice echo in the empty room- adjust your volume. Set up your computer, your projector. Walk to the back of the room, can that be read? Adjust things once again. Stand in front, close your eyes and feel the room.
The pressure builds, anxiety forces it way up into your brain. Walk out of the room, look out the window into the harbor. Focus on the waves created by the strong breeze, watch the reflection ripple across the water, slow your mind. Breathe, steady, deep breaths. Find a focus, calm your mind.
Pull out your phone, look to see if your friends responded to you texts. You need distraction, you hope they have. Talking about anything will help, you need to distract your mind from what is about to happen. You are presenting at a state mathematics conference! What were you thinking? Is this really happening?
Someone is walking by, rips you back into reality. You are at the convention center, not many people here yet. It is lunch time- you skipped it to come to your room to set up and get your bearings. Walk around this level, glance at other presentation boards. The question of how many people will attend your session once again fills your mind. You want people to come, just don’t fill the room. There’s no way you can talk to a full room, good thing a great presenter is next door, he will take a majority of people. Walk back into the room, check things again. Look over your slide notes, visualize the presentation.
You leave the room again, pacing back and forth. The moment can’t come soon enough. You see people you know entering, they say Hi! It should come as a comfort to see their faces, but you are also afraid they won’t like your words- that you will let them down. Walk again, look out into the harbor. Find the focus, the waves, clear your mind.
You DM Robert and Fawn. Robert DMs back. You chat a little. He reassures you that even he gets nerves before he has to speak. You are grateful, you needed some of these words. You think about the presentation, your message. The material is solid. It will sell itself, trust in it. Get in the moment and let it flow, once you start everything will fall into place.
The time is almost here, there isn’t a lot of people, but a good showing. Many of them already know you. Breathe. You joke with a few of them right before they sit down. You make your way to the front, time seems to slow. You scan the room, close your eyes briefly. Feel the room, the attendees, gather your thoughts. You open your eyes.
“Good afternoon everyone, thank you for attending the session on Promoting Discourse through Open Middle….”