In two days, I leave for the American Association of Grant Professionals Annual Conference in Arlington, VA. I am so excited to travel a little bit, discover new vegetarian restaurants and book stores in Arlington and DC, have gobs of time to myself and spend four days with other grant writers. I am presenting a workshop on Saturday and still haven’t figure out exactly what I am going to say. It is 1 hour and 45 minutes, so that is a lot of time to be stumbling for words. If I have the skeletal outline by the time I go, that will keep my stress levels down and I can add to it based on what seems to work in the workshops prior to that. I present in one of the last time slots, so by then a lot of folks will be totally over the conference, tired, and looking forward to going home. This leads me to believe that infusing it with a lot of jokes, collaboration time, and naps will make it worth their while.
Public speaking is not a fear of mine, but rather something I find exhilarating. Standing in front of a captive audience who has already granted you a sense of authority simply because you are there – awesome! Getting a whole group of people to laugh because of a well planned joke – even better. I absolutely love teaching, and when I teach my UW Union course on Grant Writing, I always come home feeling totally energized. For the next week or so, I go on this “I Must Become A Professor” mission, and spend hours asking myself what subject I would like to teach. Usually, the answer is linguistics. Someday, perhaps.
I am grateful for the opportunity to speak to captive audiences of people who want to learn how to write better grants.