Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Workshop that Wasn't

This weekend I taught a workshop at the NECRWA Let Your Imagination Take Flight Yearly Conference. Did I say taught? Muddled through would be more accurate. Now none of the participants complained, they didn't know what I was capable of doing, thank goodness, but I do. I stank.

This is something I don't understand about myself. When I'm on, I'm on. Funny, energetic, fabulous vocabulary. When I'm off, forget it. I lose my place in the lecture, can't remember words, ramble on. It's pitiful. And that was me yesterday. When I was done I would have happily crawled under a rock.

So I'm asking myself, what went wrong? Stage fright? No not really. I've been mulling it over and here's what I think:

First of all, I should have stood up. They were taping all the workshops, (They can throw mine out) and I was tied to a microphone at a table. I do much better when I stand up. My thoughts are clear, I project better. There is something about standing in front of the audience that clicks in my head and signals my brain to kick in.

Secondly, the audience. It was small. six people. We should have been sitting around a small table, not spread throughout a confernce room. The room wasn't set up for a small group and it would have me much more comfortable to talk to this group, rather than lecture.

I should have asked for a longer time slot. My workshop required the attendees to write and then share their writing. That takes time. We ran out.

Lastly preparation. I was over prepared in some areas and under in others. I need to even it out. Also, I let workshops I went to before hand influence me. I kept wanting to incorporate what others had said into my talk. I should have stuck to my original outline.

So there you go. Do I think it will help for next time? Honestly? No. I know myself. Sometimes I'm on. Most of the time I'm on. But when I'm not - well forget it. There was nothing I could do. I already had on my scrunchy black cowboy boots and lucky underwear. If they couldn't save me there was nothing I could do.