Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!*
It Went Fine

It's Just A Little Stage Fright

It's mid-afternoon and I'm sitting in the lobby of the La Quinta Inn in Kirkland, Washington, just east of Seattle across Lake Washington. It's a beautiful, beautiful day. It was a beautiful day yesterday too -- I even got a fabulous view of Mount Rainier on the way to the hotel.

My hostess for the trip met me last night and we went down to the lake. After strolling for a bit and taking in the glorious view, we had dinner at a very nice joint called Hector's. I had Dungeness Crab Macaroni and Cheese -- oh so yummy!

But check-out time was noon, so here I am, hanging out in the lobby until time for my presentation tonight. There will be about 40 people there. They are coming to here me talk about storytelling and technical communication.

I am nervous. I have gone over, tweaked, read, altered, thought about, and stewed over my presentation for hours. I keep thinking of new things to say, then I forget them. I woke up in the night with a brilliant inspiration, but it didn't seem quite so brilliant after a shower and cup of coffee. Good, but not brilliant. I added some slides, animated others, wrestled with the OpenOffice version of PowerPoint, checked the presentation on the business center computer, printed out a copy of the slides so that I can scribble on them, and fretted a little more.

Then I went and got lunch and read my book. I purposely did not think about the presentation. Instead I read about Bret "Hitman" Hart and his life as a pro rassler. It's not that much different from the circus, really.

Now I'm thinking about the presentation again.

I hope it goes well, I think it will, especially if I can pull off a couple of audience participation gags and get them talking. If I don't, the whole thing will last about 10 minutes instead of the 60 minutes that have been allocated.

I know. Stage fright. Nothing to worry about, really. Probably a good sign, in fact. If I wasn't nervous, I'd be worried.

Yeah, that's the ticket.