Adventures at Connecticon – My Panel

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And onto the main event. The main course of the convention. The reason I had even come in the first place. My panel on talking to girls.

I was nervous that morning. Of course I was – everyone’s a bit nervous right before before giving a talk to people they’ve never met. Even the best and most experienced presenters I’ve talked to agree to this – the key is that they’ve become used to it. I… I wasn’t really used to it just yet.

So, I got up early and had a great breakfast of Bacon, Eggs, fruit, and coffee. I’ve found that being well fed is really the best way to get myself prepped and ready to get stuff done, and today was no exception.

I woke up at around 7:30 or so, but the panel itself wasn’t until 1:30 in the afternoon – giving Daniel, T, and myself just enough time to put the finishing touches on the presentation, go through our lines, and make sure that we all had the right cues set up for each other. We didn’t spend a huge amount of time prepping or going over our lines – instead we focused more on mentally readying ourselves, getting our minds in the right place.

And with that set up, we walked into the panel room.

And it was empty. Granted, I wasn’t expecting a full house, but I was at least hoping that someone would have shown up to it. I mean, it was only 20min before the panel, not that long, right?

Wrong. Not a soul was in the room until 10min before it started, and in those ten minutes, the room went from classification “ghost town” to classification “wait, there are no more seats?”

Seriously, it was completely full, to a standing room only level, within five minutes. So, once all three of us were comfortable, the laptops were running, and the projector was projecting, I stood up and started talking.

And I kept talking.

For nearly 30minutes, I held the room in my hand. We chatted, we joked, I played little games with the people in the front rows. It honestly went amazing, and I was quite surprised when the little timer we had set up started flashing to tell me that I needed to hand the reins over to T. It was exactly like tackling a tough climb – I sort of zoned out and rolled with it, keeping that perfect feeling of zen.

After I finished my set I handed the room over to Big T, who in turn handed it over to Daniel once he was finished up. All three of us rocked different presentation styles – I kept to my naturally mobile style, where I walked and talked, gestured and conversed directly with specific people. T pulled the “cool old grandpa” routine by pulling his chair up onto the stage, sitting down, and holding a fireside chat with the audience. Daniel worked a combination of the two, standing up, but holding himself a goodly bit more still and professional than I usually do.

After our last slide was done, and our last topic covered, we passed the floor over to the room itself by fielding questions from the audience.

To be honest, this part was my favorite – we got to talk even more conversationally with people, addressing specific concerns and directly answering questions that they had. We all had fun, and some of the people actually stayed so long after the panel that we had to leave the room in order to let the next on start on time.

Every part of the weekend was amazing, but the panel itself was by far my favorite portion of it – I love getting to meet new people and talk about adventures, and this was honestly just a chance to do that… even though these adventures were of a very specific type.

 

To see a video of the discussion, see it here!

WARNING – Not 100% suitable for all audiences.  Contains some coarse language, and the idea that you should treat women as normal people.  Scary, I know 😛

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