An unexpectedly scary experience. I had to give a presentation at Telco 2.0’s conference this week, the first time I’ve done this, and the first time I did it at all since OpenTech 2008 (audio, slides).

This, quite unexpectedly, flipped me into hellish stage fright, which I had always assumed to be basically a load of old bollocks. I’d like to apologise to several people, who know who they are, who I’ve been unsympathetic to in the past as a result of this failure of empathy. I was awake at 0430, gripped with dread, just about functional by 0830, but then I had to wait and take notes all morning, and it just got progressively more heart-grippingly intense.

Yes, we’re talking a full scale blubbing-in-the-crapper horror show. By the time my slot rolled around I was so tired and bored of being terrified I was getting calmer, but I still managed to forget I was wearing a radio mic and ask for another.

I’ve never been accused of being shy, but I think the differences were down to a mixture of higher stakes, and time to reflect on it and be scared. (Also, ISTR I’d had three pints before the Viktor Bout talk, although even then I’d been up coding at 5am to fix the live demo that eventually didn’t work anyway.)

1 Comment on "Scared."

  1. Congrats on getting past it. Can sympathize. Have had modestly similar bouts, too. In a way, the live demo glitch almost was the perfect coda?

    If it’s any consolation to all of us, Keith Moon used to have such crippling stage fright before shows he would be on his knees in the loo up until his passing.


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