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  • Do Something That Scares You

    Has it really been a month since my last blog post? I seem to be in one of those busy periods at the moment where days and weeks seem to fly past!

    I’ve had this post written in my head for a while but not actually typed it up yet but since it’s Friday afternoon and I’m wrapping some things up before spending a couple of days with my family I thought I’d knock this off the to-do list.

    The advice “do something that scares you” and variants of it come up an awful lot and the reasoning behind it is sound.

    By doing something that takes you way out of your comfort zone you’ll learn an awful lot. That may be about yourself, your ability to do something or even that you can overcome a fear by facing it head on.

    This doesn’t mean you need to go and jump out of an airplane every weekend!

    I’m obviously going somewhere with this….I wanted to share something I did recently that scared me.

    I’ve been a visitor to the Pecha Kucha nights in Birmingham ever since they launched.

    I heard about the format many years ago and as soon as I found out it was coming to the region I’ve been attending ever since.

    The concept is simple. Someone presents on a topic using only twenty slides. They also only get twenty seconds per slide. That in itself doesn’t really sell it as interesting but it does make for really focussed and passionate presentations and since they can be about anything I’ve learned lots about topics I normally wouldn’t have an interest in.

    You can see videos from previous Birmingham events here.

    A few months ago I was at a Pecha Kucha night and was having a conversation with Richard Tubb about how brave the presenters were for getting up and doing it. We’ve both presented to groups of people in the past but agreed that the strict structure of Pecha Kucha could make it very difficult if you got your timing wrong or lost your train of thought through nerves or whatever. In a regular presentation style you can “fill” or explore a different avenue before coming back to the point you were on previously.

    We both laughed about how we’d never do it and ordered another beer.

    However, the organiser of the event Jo Hardy had asked me a couple of times if I’d present buy liquid ativan since I was such as regular to the group and in the interests of doing something scary I finally said yes.

    I put together some slides and was all set to do it but the event had to be re-arranged. Have psyched myself up to do it I was a little disappointed. However, the Coventry event was the week after(their videos are here). I’d never been to the Coventry event as it’s normally on the same night as AMITPRO but this time around it was on a different evening and they were short of speakers so I offered to help out and took my presentation there.

    Some of you may be thinking, “that’s not scary”.

    I guess it depends on your point of view. Growing up I was very shy and the thought of standing up in front of a room of people filled me with dread. It’s something I’ve worked on as I’ve become an adult. I was going to say “as I grew up” but you need to have grown up for it to become past tense Winking smile 

    In recent years I’ve presented at various user groups and I’m also expected to speak in front of a group at the BNI group I’m a part of and while it’s still something that doesn’t come naturally I don’t dread it in the way that I used to. In fact when it comes to talking about a technical topic it’s something I’ve come to enjoy.

    Doing this was a little bit of validation for that there are always things to learn and if you want to change something about yourself you’re perfectly capable of doing it. If you’d have asked me five years ago if I’d be talking to a group of people about anything I wouldn’t have believed it. Yet I now seem to be doing it with an increasing regularity.

    Do Something That Scares You – you don’t know where it will lead.

    Almost forgot….Did I mention they filmed it?

    Video should be below or behind this link.

    I’ve not actually watched it though as listening to the sound of my own voice is definitely something that scares me.


    Pecha Kucha Coventry | Vol.5 | Andy Parkes from MINDRIOT PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.