During the day to day course of my job, I ocassionally have to give presentations, talks, demonstrations or some other form of teaching or passing on information.
I like the one-to-one sessions as they are nice and friendly - usually tucked away in my office and with someone who clearly wants to learn something, as it happens, I had someone yesterday, a degree student who is about to start her dissertation and wanted to know more about how to find the information she needed. She was keen, interested and a joy to teach.
Today though, I had one of my more challenging experiences. Nothing nasty, no horrible questions, bored people or anything like that. But.....it was the largest group of people I have ever given a presentation to. There were at least 100 people there, the register will probably show around 115-130!
Needless to say, I opened the door to see a very full lecture hall and was promptly very nervous. Obviously I knew that the numbers would be high, but it never quite computes until you actually see all those faces staring back at you hoping that you have something interesting to say!!
The thing is....I used to stutter (still do when I am very, very tired) and ten years ago, I simply could not have stood up and spoken in front of all those people - I could have handled a smaller group (MUCH smaller - say about five!!).
But today? Nervous sure, but I could do it- I made them laugh, managed to skate over the usual computer problem (flippin' computers!), and above all, I think that they got the information that they needed.
My younger self would be amazed!!! ;-)