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I’m giving a talk tomorrow in front of a large group of college students. I’m not sure how many, but I’m getting nervous. I’ve only given a handful of talks in my life, mostly to groups of thirty or less, with the exception of a speech I made at my high school graduation. I was so nervous during the entire thing, that when it was over, I couldn’t even remember having given it. Today we will be practicing at the venue at the University of California San Diego, hopefully all my nerves will flutter away during these mock-talks, and I’ll be on fire tomorrow.

It shouldn’t be too difficult. I’ll be speaking about a subject I love: clean water & the ocean. I’ll be showing them photos I took during my “Source to Sea” project that was funded by a National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant. So that should be fun. The audience will be full of energetic college students, all eager to learn more about how to apply for NG grants. This means I will have a captive audience, and that’s definitely a good thing (this is me trying to convince myself it will all go swimmingly.)

Once the talk is over, there will be a breakout session, which I’m most looking forward to. Students will be able to ask myself and other National Geographic explorers and staff questions and tips regarding how to apply for a grant. I was never aware of resources like that when I was in college. It could have made my bumpy and unclear journey down my current path a little less circuitous- shortened the stretch of years in which I felt stuck. Not that I would trade my experience thus far for anybody else’s (of course that’s not possible, so it’s silly to even mention), BUT being able to offer guidance and encouragement to point other younger versions of me in the right direction is a good feeling. It’s something for which facing down my nerves is worthwhile.

So wish me luck or to break a leg, or however that works. And if anyone out there has any advice on public speaking, feel free to send it my way!

2 Responses to “NERVES”

  1. Alan Wells says:

    Sounds like a great opportunity to talk about your experiences, you’ll do great! Just remember to speak slowly and imagine the audience naked ;)

  2. Thanks for the encouragement and tips Alan! I’m feeling pretty good about tomorrow now that I’ve practiced a little more.

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