Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lotusphere Idol - Just do it!

Having been off the grid for the past couple days while I was busy rebuilding our environment at the disaster recovery testing, I noticed that those who had submitted abstracts for Lotusphere 2010 had heard back.  While some were happy that their sessions were accepted, it seemed that others were upset that theirs weren't.  Okay, it happens.  But my advice to those that didn't get in and really to ANYONE that has even considered submitting an abstract to speak at Lotusphere is to consider submitting one for Lotusphere Idol.  I did and wow, it was an incredible experience.  Okay, I didn't win and that's not the point of this post.  My point is that if you feel you have material that is Lotusphere quality, put in a submission for Idol when it's time!  Give it a shot.  But what if you're not sure if you're ready for the big leagues?  Know of a Lotus user group in your area?  Present there!  Get the experience and the feedback.  And when all else fails, BLOG IT!  If you blog it, they will come.  My point is give it a shot.
Now if you're asking if I put a submission in for this years Lotusphere or will for Lotusphere Idol, the answer is no.  I learned an important lesson last year.....I'm a terrible public speaker in my opinion.  Well, at least I need more training at it.  I'm okay doing it at our local user group, I've done that twice, but at Lotusphere...the big league.  This is the place where people spend thousands to get to and sell their souls and existence to their managers to attend. pressure.  I mean look at the picture of me.  Go ahead, I'll wait.
You can see the "choke" written all over my face.  I barely looked up once.  It was like that scene in Talladega Nights when Ricky Bobby was being interviewed for the first time.  You know what I'm talking about if you've seen the movie.  But this also isn't about "if you're not first, you're last", it's about don't give up on it and keep trying.  Maybe next year I'll submit, but this time I'm going to sit back and soak up the knowledge.  After all, that's why they're sending me there ;-)


Gabriella Davis said...

Honestly Andy you weren't that bad (and I apologise once more for not calling out the right name).

For what it's worth, the very first year I presented at LS I had done a ton of other presentations before and it was on Sametime.

I was so nervous my voice shook and gurgled so I sounded like a lamb. I also cleared my throat several times loudly into the mic (nice!)

I hid behind the pedestal and someone took a photo of me to show that all anyone could see was the top of my head.

I waved my hands around so much that I kept hitting the mic pinned to me making a loud banging noise. That was 7 year's ago and the audio guy who managed my room that year still jokes to me about it when I go to pin on my mic. Of course I still wave my hands around in excitement, but now I pin the mic out of the way!

It takes years to get confidence to get on stage at LS. I still choke every time and only practice, practice, practice helps me get through it. Lotusphere IDOL is a great launching point if you want to demonstrate your speaking and become more widely known and I hope you'll feel more confident to submit next year !

Gab Davis

Andy Donaldson said...

Thanks Gab and no worries about the name LOL!
I'm looking forward to your sessions again this year like other years. My brain always feels very full walking out at the conclusion of them :-)

Paul MOoney said...

Andy, seriously mate you were not that bad at all. I remember my first time presenting at Lotusphere. I still cringe.