A couple months ago I went to the Killer Tribes Conference, where I had my first speaking engagement. My talk was titled, “Embracing Your Niche: It’s Not as Dirty as It Sounds,” and I set out to encourage other niche writers and bloggers in what they do.
Many of you helped fund my trip, but most of you were unable to see the talk go down in all its awkward-but-still-fun first-time glory. So, at your request, I asked a friend– the ridiculously hilarious, impossibly generous Tyler Tarver– to record it, which he did (and then he edited it, all for free).
If you’ve ever heard a recording of your voice and recoiled at the awful truth it told about how you sound to the world, then you know a small fraction of the whiskey-shot-inducing mortification I felt at hearing and seeing myself giving my first professional talk. I almost didn’t share this, for real.
But you asked for it, and you’ve given me so much, so, y’all– I’m giving it up for you. I hope it’s better for you than it is for me.
Notes on Part 1:
1. What the video doesn’t show is that as soon as everyone was in the room, I gave them my trademark warning. They laughed, they stayed, and then more people came in and I had to do it all over again. D’oh.
2. Evidently I lick my teeth and lips when I get nervous. Or else I’m just hungry.
3. Clay Morgan makes an awkward cameo appearance as only he can do.
4. When I say, “I promised Bryan that I wouldn’t use any F-words,” I mean Killer Tribes founder Bryan Allain, who called me the day before the conference to add just a little addendum to the carte blanche he’d given me on my language. I don’t mean my husband Bryan; he likes my mouth.
Notes on Part 2:
1. As if to warn the audience that I’m about to become slightly unclear, the camera goes blurry for a few moments. The words that follow make me sound very mean, as though I think every blog people ask me to visit is shitty. This is not what I meant. I meant that once in a while, I will go to a blog to see why it isn’t being well read, and it turns out that it’s not well written, perhaps because that person is not really meant to be a writer. However, I also visit a lot of blogs that aren’t well read enough considering how fantastically well they’re written, like Quiet Anthem and Meet the Buttrams.
2. I try not to get emotional about my loyal readers and definitively, entirely fail. Gosh, I love you guys. Also, when I talk about your footing my bill, I don’t mention that you paid for my food there too– and I totally ate some fried pickles with Leigh Kramer.
3. CLIFF HANGER! Will Tamára come up with a big website example?! I hope so– because we are all DYING OF AWKWARDNESS.
Notes on Part 3:
1. The friend whose amazing wisdom I quote (and then everyone promptly tweets) is my dearest friend Jenny. She’s a flesh-and-blood friend, so I can’t link to her, but I can tell you that she is essential to my heart. I would not be who or where I am without her.
2. If we played a drinking game where you took a sip every time I say “you know” in this segment, we’d all be dunrk rhigt aobut now.
The Q&A Segment:
The ten minutes or so we spent on Q&A after my talk was actually some of the best stuff in my whole session. I’ve heard we might be able to get Tyler to send it over when his family’s brand-new-baby haze has cleared, but til then, if you have any questions on the talk, feel free to ask them here.
I also have a few questions of my own:
What nervous ticks do you have? How many times did I say “you know” in video 3? What other conferences should I invite myself to speak at? (I promise I won’t frog it up with weird licks and incessant “you know”-ing. It was my first time– I’ll get better.)