An extract from Maria Kedemo’s blog post
Speaking easy, really?
Speaking in larger groups or in front of people has never been easy for me. My heart starts pounding every time I’m in front of people. Some times I have to look down at my chest, certain you can see my heart pounding through my t-shirt, like in a cartoon.
I used to hate speaking in front of people. If I could avoid it I would happily do so. Ironically I’ve chosen a career where I need to speak in front of people; in project meetings, to my team and in all sorts of context at work. It is also quite funny that my new job will be teaching software testing in a vocational program. To hate is a very strong word and a very serious matter. I don’t hate speaking anymore. I don’t love it either. Yet I choose to do it! (I will get back to why I do it and when I actually felt comfortable in a new post)
In my career I have done very few official speaking events, such as speaking at conferences and meetups. Though the ones I’ve done have been a real challenge and a great experience. Now a days the biggest reason for speaking very occasionally is the time it takes for me to prepare ( I will get back to this part too).
My reasons for becoming a mentor
Given the background it might seem strange that I volunteered to become a mentor for Speak Easy. But the program which Fiona Charles and Anne-Marie Charrett have started is something I am very passionate about and the main reasons for me are:
- The possibility to influence bringing diversity to the arena, specifically tech conferences.
- The possibility to support speakers or new speakers who might share my experiences.
- The opportunity to give something back to the CDT community and people who have supported me and helped me throughout my career.