Being a speaker at my local WordCamp resulted in a much, much different experience from being an attendee without speaking. I mean, duh, right? But it’s still startling as an experience.
I talked to so many people, mostly people I had never spoken to before. This was a lot of fun but in typical introvert fashion, I am quite done with that sort of thing for a while.
There was also a lot of intellectual stimulation. Although we’re on vacation this week, my brain is in overdrive and is definitely not on vacation, or at least not a normal person’s definition of vacation. I have often found that stepping outside of my usual routine, and especially traveling, is when I do a lot of my best thinking. Hopefully my husband and son won’t mind too much my desire to check out from time to time and get lost in thought.
I learned a lot, some of it from sessions and some of it from side conversations. I once again wish there were a Big Book of WordPress Learnin’ where I could find out about things like CPT’s linked to other post types via custom tables (thank you Mike), because what if some incredibly valuable technique that we need is out there but the random happenstance needed for us to discover it just never occurs because learning WordPress development can be so random?
I also learned that, despite what many say, it’s entirely possible to get up in front of people, be very prepared and yet not stop being nervous for a long time into your talk, and as result skip big chunks of it and major points you wanted to make. But then, if I’d laid down a perfect rendition of my talk, we wouldn’t have had time for a rather lively Q&A at the end and that was honestly the best part.
Twitter kind of exploded for a little while there but once I had gotten through most of it, this surfaced and I find it completely hilarious:
CONFIRMED: SAS USES SASS #WCRaleigh
— Rickey Smith (@RickeyEarl) October 10, 2015
I have to express my gratitude to the person who suggested that we put our intranet in a wiki (to solve the problem of creating an audit trail) because he also asked the first question (“Excuse me, what is Bamboo?”) and that really helped me feel like I was actually interacting with people. And since I’d accidentally skipped that information at the beginning, it gave me a chance to stop barreling forward and explain something fairly basic to my topic.
So, true confession, I actually applied to speak at WordCamp U.S. This was before the WordCamp Raleigh speaker applications were open so I wasn’t able to say that I had any speaking experience. I am kind of hoping (and pretty much expecting) to have that application turned down but if it’s not, well at least I know now it’ll be a wild ride.