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 .

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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