Happy Wednesday everyone!
I can’t believe how quickly this week is racing by. It’s spring break, and my kid is home with me (three cheers for having the privilege of working from home). It’s a delight to have her here with me, though she watched these YouTube Kids videos on her tablet and the narration drives me a little bit bananas.
Today I gave a presentation. I was part of an online panel with participants from Google and two other media outlets (Shaw and QNotes.) I spent yesterday and a large part of this morning preparing my presentation about our Reader Bridge Project.
I run this project. I’m heavily involved in it, and I know it well… but that didn’t take away from the anxiety I felt about speaking out loud, in front of other people about it.
You would think that working in media and being so present online would somehow prepare me to speak in front of crowds, but no. I am usually always a wreck leading up to public speaking.
In a moment of vulnerability, right before I closed my PowerPoint presentation for the night, I sent out a tweet about how anxious I felt. It was late, and everyone was asleep, so I put my thoughts and feelings out into the void of the internet.
“I have a presentation tomorrow. I am nervous. Speaking in front of people is scary for me. Send me good vibes.”
With that I clicked off and headed to bed. Sleep didn’t come easily, even though I was exhausted.
When I woke up in the morning I checked my socials and saw that my late-night tweet had reached a few hundred people. Some of them were my online friends, and some of them were strangers. People took time out of their life to wish me luck, send me good vibes, and give me little pep talks I so desperately needed.
“You’ve got this.”
“Personalize it as much as possible. Always easier to speak about things you are connected to. It will be great. Enjoy the moment.”
“You’re strong and can accomplish anything.”
“Piece of cake. Good vibes coming at you Shelley.”
So often the internet can be a cesspool of negativity. But in moments like this, it’s so lovely to be reminded that we are not alone. That a moment of vulnerability can be met with kindness from others—both friends and strangers. Cheerleaders! Thank you for showering me with all those good vibes.
The presentation went OK. I made it through, and all the things I was nervous about didn’t happen.
Piece of cake. (More on cake later in this email!)
I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Shelley Cook, Columnist