This year at SQLBits I was asked early Friday afternoon if I would put my name forward for the lightning talks. As a helper for 8 years I wanted to be helpful and agreed stating I had no laptop, access to material or pre-prepared slides. I quickly thought of the only topic I could reasonably cover with very little preparation, that being ‘how I became a doctor’. As a first-time speaker it was quite daunting to stand up in front of lots of people. Without slides you have nothing to distract the attendees, at the session, from watching you.
I received a mail late afternoon confirming I had been chosen to present. I was originally down to room monitor another session at the same time. This resulted in my frantic search to find another helper who would swap room monitoring sessions. Luckily another helper kindly agreed.
Friday evening, knowing I had to get up early Saturday morning to help and monitor a few sessions, it left no time to prepare. I left the party early Friday evening to pack and to write some semblance of order for a 5 minute presentations.
I felt quite embarrassed to speak alongside others who had prepared slides, those who had presented before or those who had given lightning talks before. I was surprised with the first run though live I finished 10 seconds early, thus keeping to the strict 5 minute time limit.
I would say standing on the stage takes courage and all the lightning talk presenters should be proud they did it. Now after returning home after a very exhilarating and exhausting week of helping, learning and networking, I have created the set of slides for the presentation in case anyone wanted more information.