It has been almost a year since the first time I went on stage at Darc Room live and gave a presentation in front of colleagues, professionals and friends from the lighting industry. This year I will participate again in the Darc Room event by hosting a Women in Lighting panel, a completely different task and I thought to reflect back on my first experience. (You can see this year’s participation in the link at the end of this blog.)
The title of my fifteen-minute darc room live talk was: “Light as a Non-Verbal Language in the Urban Space.” The topic was inspired by my KTH Master thesis: “Light as a Medium to Enhance Communication in Urban Spaces that was developed together with my thesis tutor Thomas Schielke.
Would you like to know how I felt? Well, I LOVED IT. But let me describe the emotional roller coaster first. I arrived at the venue a few hours before my talk and had some time to meet friends, enjoy the event and attend other talks. Just an hour before my time slot, I started feeling very nervous. I didn’t really like that part, even though I realized that this kind of emotion helped me to concentrate and give my 100% when it was time to go on stage. In the meanwhile, since I had an hour, I left the ‘darc room live’ area and decided to keep myself as distracted as possible. I met friends and colleagues and kept myself busy :-). Twenty minutes before my talk, I was outside concentrating and doing some breathing exercises until I felt completely ready to return to the conference hall.
My turn came after a five-minute break and this transition was exactly what I needed to break the ice and have some jokes with the audience while I was getting ready. First, we had to deal with the mic – the headset got completely tangled in my hair before I even started my presentation. Yes, it was actually a mess and it took a whole five minute to get it untangled! After this experience, I decided to never ever give a presentation with my long hair unattended!
Anyway… We ditched the idea of wearing the microphone on my head since it was impossible, I got the mic and walked to the stage. And this is when this magical emotion came.
I was standing in front of a full room, feeling confident and grateful for the opportunity. 3-2-1 Let’s start. And then time literally stopped.
After a month of preparation, it was time to deliver the baby. I was communicating my project at last. It is difficult to describe with words the empowering feeling you get when you feel that the audience is as captivated as you are by your words, your slides, your ideas, and seem to be following you along this exciting journey in the most wonderful flow.
Now, after watching my very first talk on video, I am smiling, realizing that there is a lot of room for improvement and then understanding how every single experience makes us grow and set higher goals.
Today, after a year, I have already given four talks in front of the public and I can only ask for more. The reason is that I really enjoy connecting with people and sharing ideas by being on stage and challenging myself. There are so many things to learn and improve in public speaking and the only way to do this is to practice, be critical and reflect on every single experience. And yes, every time is a little bit easier to control my ‘nervousness’ before going on stage, because I know how much excited I will get as soon as I start talking.
It was a great honor to be speaking amongst such inspiring professionals, stepping out of my comfort zone and diving into this encouraging, challenging and uplifting world of public speaking. I love it!
A huge thank you goes to Light Collective Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton, for their trust and invitation, Arc & Darc magazine for organizing such a great event, my thesis tutor Thomas Schielke for his guidance to develop this topic that inspired me, my wonderful flatmate Valerie for her passion and patience to practice with me and all of those amazing people who attended the event and share such positive and bright vibes.
You can check my very first public talk online and share your thoughts with me in the comments 🙂
Thank you very much, guys!! Have a fantastic day wherever you are in the world!
Together with my lighting friend and colleague Greta Smetoniute, we will be hosting a Women in Lighting panel. It is called: “Stepping out of the shadows” .Check more about our guests here and join us on the 19th of September at 14:00.