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Friday, 19 January 2007

Catalyst +

I am elated! It's not often I have a reason to use that word, but if ever someone was elated, it's now.

Tonight, I gave a talk at Catalyst +. I was really nervous, as it was the first time I was talking by myself, and I wasn't all that sure how long my material would last - I'd only ever prepared for ten minute talks before. Everything went wrong today; the video I was going to use wouldn't download (because the interwebs broked AGAIN), and I very nearly didn't get my notes printed off.

So anyway, after lots of frantic one-sentence prayers, I took the mic off of Dave and grabbed my Bible. I opened with the immortally stupid line: "Is it an emotional wreck in here or is it just me?" I can't explain quite why I was so emotional, just on the off-chance somebody reads this who knows, because the news isn't public knowledge yet. I only found out moments before the talk, so I was still in a bit of a crisis state.

I went through my (sort of) carefully prepared material point by point, and it felt so much more fun and relaxed than any of my previous talks. I really got into the swing of things! Praise the Lord, he squished my nervousness, and I didn't panic even when I was asking for information from the audience. See, I would have been sunk at that point; if the audience isn't willing to volunteer information, you know you've lost them. Fortunately I had some very good friends in the room that night, who were willing to share if only to makes things easier for me. Everything ran so smoothly, and I was hugely relieved when I stepped away from the front, having delivered my three convenient bullet points and said what I meant to say.

Dave asked me afterwards how long I thought I had talked for. I don't blank out after talks any more, at least, so I could remember it, but I hadn't a clue how long I had taken! I thought back over the material, judged that I hadn't rushed myself or padded it out too much, and ventured a cautious guess of ten minutes.
"From the time you got up to the time you sat down..." he started,
"Was half an hour."

SO! I did it! I said my first proper talk! And I didn't mess it up! And loads of people said it was good!

For the record, it wasn't me. The part of that talk that was me was the stumbling, nervous, hesitating, repeating part. The rest of it - quite possibly the majority - was God. Who, by the way, rocks.


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