13 Feb

I’m a photographer not a speaker.

Or so I thought until this past weekend. The following is a cross-post from my personal blog:

At the Northern Voice blogging conference on the weekend I had the challenging, but interesting, experience of stepping into the roll of speaker.
I was asked to speak because a last minute replacement was needed on a panel talking about blogging, passions and personal expression – an ideal subject for me.

Blog now!

My initial reaction to this request was a flat out refusal because public speaking, especially when I’m not prepared, scares the living crap out of me.
I’ve never felt comfortable being the centre of attention, even in small groups, because I’m too self-conscious.
I was very shy growing up, and even though I’ve worked hard to overcome that shyness, it’s still never entirely left me.
But here I was being offered an opportunity to do something on a larger scale that I do anyway which is to share my experiences, my passion for art and photography, and also inspire.
I hate missing opportunities I should take, and I really hate letting FEAR stop me, so I decided to do it.

I can’t really give a good summary of what I said because it was kind of a blur, and I was working off the top of my head.
I do know I mentioned all the blogs I write for, how my writing has changed, the Vandigicam gang, and spoke about the effect flickr has had on my life.
I was really nervous and uncomfortable for the most part, but I think I clearly made my points in the short time I was given.
Afterwards I wished that I’d had more time to talk, to interact with the audience and other speakers, but maybe next time.
(I can’t believe I’d want to do that again, but I think I do.)

I’m glad so many of my friends were present to convince me to do it and offer encouragement, because I don’t think I could have done it without them.
Special thanks to Kris Krug and Darren Barefoot for asking me.

© Rachael Ashe