I Hit Puberty Today

photoEarlier this evening I attended the event I alluded to last week in my post about your favorite speakers. I’m very fortunate to get invited to speak on crowdfunding panels now and then, and that was part of the theme of tonight’s event. It was actually a kickoff event for an Indiegogo campaign for a local hot dog place called Steve’s Hot Dogs, and the crowdfunding-themed event was hosted by Social Media Club St. Louis.

The evening presented several personal challenges for me, because about 75% of the event was actually mingling and networking (as an introvert, and as Jamey Stegmaier, small talk–particularly small talk with complete strangers at loud venues–is absolutely exhausting), and the other 25% was public speaking (I dread public speaking). But it’s important to me that I try to reach out to help other Kickstarter creators in a variety of ways. Plus, I tried Steve’s Hot Dogs last week (see photo), and they’re awesome, so I wanted to support the cause.

I must admit that the panel portion of the event was somewhat difficult, because I got the feeling that a lot of people at Perenial Brewery were there to drink, chat, and eat hot dogs. There were about 75 people who were very attentive, but we were constantly drowned out by the other 75 people or so. We were pretty much shouting into the mic. This provided some comedic effects when I was introducing myself. In the middle of explaining my Kickstarter experience and why I was at the event, my voice cracked, so the sentence went something like this: “I’m here because I’m really excited to share my Kickstarter experiences with you…and apparently to hit puberty.” It actually got a nice laugh!

The other thing I want to mention–something I wish I’d fully embrace in the future–is that I really, really appreciate that a few friends showed up. I can’t tell you how much it means to have some friendly faces in the crowd, particularly at a mingling/networking event like this (I actually did walk up to TWO complete strangers before they got there, but it was a great relief when each of them arrived). So a big thanks to John, Laura, Joe, Maggie, and Emma. And the thing is, I didn’t really invite anyone, because I didn’t want to inconvenience them for an event that really wasn’t about me at all. In the future I really should just invite friends to stuff like this. I’m totally fine if they don’t attend, but at least they have the option instead of not knowing about it at all.

Anyway, that’s my takeaway from tonight. I wish I had a photo from the event, but here’s a hot dog instead.

6 thoughts on “I Hit Puberty Today”

  1. I’m the opposite. I enjoy public speaking but dread having to comment or post articles on the Internet. I find people are generally nicer (or at least pretend to be) in person. Interacting with a person physically also adds an extra dimension to the communication which I find both useful and valuable.

    I’m not a particularly good writer–my 10th grade English can attest to this–so I find my written posts frequently misinterpreted. i.e., a cheeky joke mistaken as an insensitive slander, or an overly excited remark coming off as being angry.

    I can already hear you say, lay off the extra exclamation marks, Allen!!!

    • Hi Allen: That’s really interesting that you have the opposite dread. My experience with your comments on Facebook and Stonemaier Games has been that you interact really well with people online, so hopefully it becomes less dreadful for you over time (just as I hope public speaking will become less dreadful for me over time). 🙂

  2. You are the only man that I know who had hit puberty (and counting) more than three times. Congrats on hitting puberty at such a successful time your life. 🙂

  3. Definitely invite your friends so they have the option. I hate finding out about events after the fact, especially those that I would have gladly attended . Sometimes it might be an event I really wanted to go to or other times I might have just wanted to get out of the house. Or maybe one Monster Truck Jam was enough for me and I declined. Either way, having the option is much better than missing out because I wasn’t aware.

    • Thank you for sharing that–it’s a good reminder to me to share those types of things in the future! 🙂


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