At the start of April, I got a direct message on Instagram from Mr. Benjamin Paul of Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute to invite me to give a talk on their Grade 11’s Writer’s Conference. Initially (as in without even knowing the full details of the conference), I knew already that my answer will be a “NO.” There’s no way I am going to give a talk in front of a group of people regardless if they are students or not. And besides I have no idea what I am going to speak about. I didn’t respond to his invitation right away, I asked him to email me the details and tell me how did he actually found me. After receiving his email, I gave it a little thought and I decided to say “YES.” Although I am not sure what I was going to talk about and if I can actually fill even halfway of the 45 minutes’ slot that will be given to me, I thought it’ll be good to face my fear of public speaking. It is something that is really outside of my comfort zone, but I was hoping by sharing how a just-for-fun blog of a normal supermom wannabe turned into a place of her creative outlet while giving back to her community.
Let me take this time to look back and share this cool experience with you. Like I said, I have fear of talking in front of a group of people but after today’s experience, I am thankful that I didn’t say no. I realized that regardless if you are a good speaker or not, we all have something to share, we have experiences that are uniquely our own which other people may learn from. The truth is, for the longest time, I always believe that I won’t be able to speak at a conference because of my self-doubt and I always thought that if ever you are to speak, you must be able to make and deliver an A+ content. But I guess being the best is not the key, knowing your self better and not putting too much pressure on yourself help a lot.
I was invited to share my blogging experience and how I learned my skills in writing. I may not have the best blog content but writing is something that I love to do and I have been doing this even before Facebook became our everyone’s thing. Funny how I tried to make a script, I wrote what I want to say word for word, but guess what, I wasn’t able to use it, I didn’t even look at it. When giving a talk about something that you are passionate about, you don’t need a script, words will just come out! Though, there are some points that I missed which could improve my talk had I remembered all of them. It was my first ever speaking gig (experience) I was really nervous, stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, but I made it! I am happy with how it turned out and I know I can always do better if I will be more confident and make room for improvement.
The conference was a whole day event, but I requested to put me in the morning schedule since I need to go back to work after my part. I didn’t have the chance to talk to all the other invited speakers but I am glad I had a chance to talk to Stephanie Tromly and Maureen Fergus. Stephanie is a Novelist, she wrote award-winning books like Trouble Is a Friend of Mine (2015), Trouble Makes a Comeback (2016), and Trouble Never Sleeps (2018). She was born in Manila but grew up in Hong Kong, I was very surprised when she started talking to me in Tagalog. I really admire people who never forget the language that they first learned. Maureen, is also a novelist and an author of books for children of all ages. She wrote award-winning novels like, Exploits of a Reluctant (But Extremely Goodlooking) Hero, The Gypsy King trilogy. Her picture books include the critically acclaimed Buddy and Earl series, Invisibill and the Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten, which won the Ontario Library Association Blue Spruce Award.
To end up, I want to thank the English Department of Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, especially to Mr. Benjamin Paul for inviting me to speak in their 2019’s Writer Conference. A big thank you also to the grade 11 students who were very attentive, I had an awesome time.
For someone who’d rather sit in front of her laptop to express herself, this is a nerve wracking experience but it was fun and I guess that’s one for the books for me.