At This Time Tomorrow I’ll Be Naked in Public

Old SchoolI dread public speaking.

I’m not terrible at it. But I don’t enjoy it. I’m not comfortable being in the spotlight. I get flummoxed and dry-mouthed, and the days and hours leading up to it are absolutely nervewracking.

I particularly don’t like public speaking with a microphone. I can’t gauge what my voice sounds like to everyone else in the room. Am I too close to the microphone? Too far? Should I hold it? One hand or two hands? Should I breathe heavily into it when other people are speaking, not breaking eye contact? Should I drop the microphone on the floor after I’m done speaking? So many uncertainties.

Regardless of my fears and doubts, every now and then I like to stretch myself a little bit. So recently I accepted an invitation to speak on a panel at a Wash U summer series on crowdfunding. I go live at 2:30 tomorrow (Friday).

My hope is that I’ll be able share some insights about Kickstarter with the young minds of the next generation. My hope is also that I won’t get so dry mouthed that I start drinking every glass of water in sight. I imagine this rapidly devolving into a bareknuckle brawl with the other panelists over the last glass of water.

My hope is that I won’t picture everyone in the room without their clothes and start to wonder if I’m the only person in the room who’s not naked, resulting in me stripping and running through the auditorium shouting axioms about Kickstarter.

My hope is that I won’t commandeer the laptop projector and spend the next two hours sharing the thousands of Biddy and Walter photos I keep on my iPhone.

So if  you turn on the nightly news tomorrow and notice a breaking story about an overly hydrated, naked man holding a room full of people hostage until they finish seeing an inhumane number of cat photos, you can tell people you know that guy.

16 Responses to “At This Time Tomorrow I’ll Be Naked in Public”

  1. 1. Yes, you drop the mic. If you don’t, I’ll think less of you. 2. If you do get naked, don’t forget to lunge as you accentuate your main points about running a successful KSer. 3, Good luck! I’m sure you’ll do fine. (Just pretend you’re on the Happy Mitten Podcast again).

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Ha ha…thanks Jeff. Those are great tips. I followed all of them during the Happy Mitten Podcast recording, so they should apply here too.

  2. Ansley says:

    Make sure you wear your dressy loincloth. This will help prevent any unnecessary nakedness.

  3. Jasmin says:

    Smile and wave to the crowd, Jamey. You know your stuff. You can probably do a two year long conference with your expertise in Kickstarter and game board production. If you have a mic tomorrow, hold it like how this lady holds it.

    Here’s my two cents.
    – Have a good, relaxing posture. I can’t stand a slouching presenter who is clearly uncomfortable being there.
    – Smile to avoid becoming a deer in headlights.
    – Don’t put hands in pocket. Switch hand from time to time if you need to hold mic and keep hands occupy.
    – Dude, you know your sh*t. Just talk from how you start in the beginning, during, and after the process like you are explaining this to a friend or family without being too detail. Too much detail make the general public lose their luster for the topic.
    – A&Q session is usually 15 to 20 minutes I think so answering each question takes about a two to three minutes. Any questions that requires a long explanations, you give the general audience a brief run through and suggest the questionee to come find you to talk more or exchange emails AFTER the brief answer.
    “Does that answer your question? If not, come find me afterwards and we’ll talk.”
    If there’s more questions and running out of time, suggest people to come find you after the event to talk more or exchange emails. If they want KSer advice, suggest them to come find you after the event to talk more or exchange email and talk KSer consultation services from you, the price and methods for that, etc.

    You’ll do awesome. If not, then I look forward to another loincloth story.

  4. Katie says:

    I’m sure you’ll do just fine. I’m curious though–do you think you’re more nervous for this than you were for your TV spot? Even though there were probably more people watching your interview, you couldn’t see them staring back at you, which I would think makes this more nervewracking. Which do you think is the hardest to deal with?

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Katie–I think I was more nervous about the TV appearance. It was such a foreign environment to me. I’ve had been in front of people before, but not cameras.

  5. Stacy says:

    Don’t worry Jamey. You won’t have to speak into a microphone on the panel today. 🙂

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Uh oh. I forgot how the internet works. The person in charge of the panel is able to read my blog. (Thanks Stacy! 🙂 )

  6. Vera Powers says:

    Jamey, I got over my discomfort by joining a Toastmasters group back in the day. It seriously helped!

  7. Christine says:

    Congrats on the speaking gig! The more you speak in public, the easier it gets so while it really sucks in the beginning 🙂 Plus, if you know your topic really well you’ll know what you need to say. Try focusing on just answering the person who asked the question, like they’re the only one in the room. I’ve been working with Raf on his public speaking skills and he says that tip helps a lot. Good luck!

  8. Darren says:

    Do we get to watch said speaking engagement? Or the recording of it?

  9. Ray says:

    As you speak, pick one person in the audience and just stare at them without blinking. If they start to look around uncomfortably, it means you’re doing it right! Also, throw in a laugh mid-sentence a few times – it helps break the tension.

  10. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Thanks everyone for your tips and tricks. It went well. Unfortunately (fortunately?) there isn’t a recording of it that I’m aware of.

  11. […] of the speech are the two photos on this post. But I was there! And I didn’t panic–I kept my clothes on! Though I did apparently put my entire arm in my pants pocket for some reason while my editor was […]

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