Sometimes you just need to push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone and public speaking for me lands in that category, since while part of my job is talking and presenting to customers, it has a lot of time a smaller audience and you typically expose yourself to a smaller limited number of persons.
But sometimes you just need to push yourself a bit and take a challenge, and that is what I’ve done when the opportunity to present in the London VMUG 27th April 2023.
How it happen
Some time ago I was having a chat with one of my team mates - Katherine Skilling - about presenting in VMUGs, VMWorld/VMware Explore or public speaking in general.
A couple of months later, Katherine Skilling pinged me and asked: “Are you up for presenting in a VMUG?”, of course the answer was YES.
And that was it, there was no turning back.
All the presentations were recorded by the VMUG team, special thanks to Gareth Edwards that took care of recording and post-processing.
Link to the playlist with all the recorded presentations at London VMUG - 27th April: link
My presentation was the 2nd of the day (taking away the Intro presentation) right after the brilliant presentation from Matthew Steiner & Ed Hoppitt that added some extra stress on myself since there brilliant presentation was a really though act to follow.
But I was determined.
My personal debrief from the entire experience
I have been in VMUGs in the past, but it was the first one with my name in the speaker list, so it had a special taste.
At arrival was greated by Linda Smith, one of the VMUG leaders that quickly made me feel confortable and quickly gave me a quick overview of where the things where and what was the plan.
Then immediatelly saw some familiar faces from the past, colleagues, ex-colleagues and people that I worked with in some projects, then there was the opportinity also to put the faces to the names to some other colleagues that we met only remotely and now there was the opportunity to have a chat in person.
Then the morning presentations started and soon was my turn.
For people that knows me, knows that I am quite an outspoken and to some extent loud since I am Portuguese after all. But believe it or not while I do like to speak in public…. I get really nervous about it.
Presentation went smoothly, did not like the fact that overrun the expected duration for a bit, something to improve next time, since it derails any agenda and gives you the feeling that you did not prepare it properly.
Overall, it was a fantastic experience and the audience was great and you felt that you were presenting in a safe place, which takes a big portion of the stress of presenting.
After presenting was lunch time, so there was some time to decompress have a chat and answer some questions from the presentation.
It was a great time to catchup with everyone and get to know new people.
After the event a couple of us went for a drink and was a great opportunity to catchup with some people in a even more relaxed environment.
It was great catching up with some people over a couple of beers/drinks.
Summary of the entire experience and what I took from it
The entire public speaking experience is different for everyone, some people love it, some people hate it, but in the end everyone feels that there is a benefit to it.
For me was a way to challenge myself a bit more presenting in an audience that was not part of my normal audience.
I did love it and end up asking when would be the next opportunity, which seems to be probably November.
This all experience was not possible without the VMUG team, since they were responsible to create the safe environment/place for us all and the opportunity to fight our fears without pressure.