Last year I attended the UX Intensive conference in Dublin, and since then I have been trying to learn as much about UX (User Experience) as possible. This has involved reading lots of books and stuff on the internet, a slight change to my role at work and attending UX talks and workshops in London each month.
Last night I didn't just attend the Ladies That UX event, but actually spoke at it too!
The idea was to give ladies who don't get to speak in public very often the chance to practice in a safe environment. We had 5 mins to speak about anything we wanted, so of course I chose bookbinding and paper making.
I was a bit worried that no one would be interested in what I had to say, but the organisers where very encouraging.
So I got there in good time with a bag of books to display. I'd practiced my talk, but still needed my print off! Chatting with people was great, but then we all sat down to start listening to the talks. Now I'm feeling ill. As we get closer to my talk I'm starting to wonder how on earth I will be able to stand up and speak. I feel faint and I've forgotten how to speak! But then my name is called and I'm up on stage with a microphone in my hand.
'Hello, I'm Penny and I work in the Digital Team at the University of Surrey...'
It went really well. People looked interested, they laughed in the right places and there was clapping at the end! We had a break and lots of people came up to talk to me about my books and paper. Even at the end of the evening when I was trying to leave people were still asking me about my books. I had no idea that people would be so interested!
So I'm not sure I would deliberately go out of my way to speak in public again, but it was a positive experience and I've learn a lot, from doing it and watching the other speakers.
Thanks to all the Ladies That UX for being so lovely.