For those of you who don't know, I try and attend Manor House Machine Knitters when I can. They meet near Leicester town centre, and it's a 45 minute jaunt up the M1 for me, but it's one of the only clubs in my area that I can attend, working full time. At the end of the year (it only runs term time) we have a party and we make suggestions for talks we'd like to see next year. I offered to do a talk on weaving, so they took me up on the offer. So I've been getting the looms ready for the last six weeks - no time like the present when you work - and the talk went pretty well. Still got the stonking head cold, although now I'm mostly at the tickly, annoying coughing fit stage. Luckily, the coughing held off!
The thing is, I struggle with this. I love sharing information with people. I love passing on my knowledge, and seeing that "lightbulb" moment in someone else's eyes. But I really, really hate giving presentations. Always have done, always will. I guess that's normal. A good friend recently asked me why I volunteer for such things. "You can say no!" she said. Yes, I know that. But if nobody stands up and does these things, who will? If you risk nothing, you win nothing and you learn nothing. Someone has to pass on information. One of the ladies said she never does demos because of stage-fright - and she has a wealth of information she could pass on. It's always the same people doing committee jobs in these sorts of organisations, too, and it's a shame. We all have the potential to stretch ourselves, if we would only just try.
What did I learn last night? That there was nothing to be scared of, really. Next time I need to make notes about the activities I've planned for afterwards, because I didn't really demonstrate the 8 shaft loom, it being between me and the audience, and I forgot to mention I'd brought loads of books for them to look at. We had plenty of time waiting for the judging to take place. Last night was the annual MK/HK competition - I came 3rd in the miscellaneous category. Yay!
So - challenge yourself today. If you don't, who will?
Current mood: relieved