I love presenting workshops at ACUI annual conferences each year. When the deadline to submit sessions rolls around, I always try to encourage my staff and students to submit and have felt that if I ask them to present – I better put my name in there too! I was surprised and honored this year when two of my sessions were picked - the last of which taking place today!
I have to admit, that even though I have presented probably more than 30 sessions through the years, I still get VERY nervous just prior. Did I plan enough? Did I plan too much? Will they like my information? Will they like my jokes? I am always a mess – because I (probably like you) have sat through Educational Sessions that didn’t meet my expectations…and who wants to be “that” Educational Session?
If I was nervous for our presentation, my Associate Director, Barbara was a basket case compared to me. She told me just prior to us starting that she thought she was going to pass out, she was breaking into a cold sweat and “didn’t think she could handle it.” What added to our anxiety was that our room which sat about 80 was almost 95% full – wow – what a big group! Our session was on creating positive and meaningful program board/organization retreats and we were surprised at its popularity!
Five minutes into the presentation, we realized we had nothing to worry about. Our group was great (I mean we are at ACUI for gosh sakes!)...our attendees participated in all our exercises, discussed with great detail our “do’s and don’ts” of retreat planning and implementation and also shared their own personal experiences with the retreat planning. Barbara and I even got a few ideas on some great diversity training exercises from some of the group members! I felt like the session went really well – and Barbara (even though she didn’t fully calm down until the last person left our room) was excited how it went and said she is going to submit to do a session again next year.
If you haven’t presented at a regional or annual conference – Do it! What are you waiting for! And as a shameless plug, the Anaheim 2009 Conference deadline is May 19, 2008 – don’t miss it! We would love to have share your knowledge with us!