Participating in Ignite FinCon was one of the high points of my first FinCon experience. In some ways it was also a low point for me, but I will get to that later.
Coming into FinCon was a nerve wracking experience to begin with because of my age. I wasn’t sure how people would react to me because I was 17 years old at the time, had only been blogging for about 8 months, had no idea what I was doing, and was probably the only person at FinCon who had to have a parent chaperone.
Not that I minded, I actually like my mom, we are a blogging team over at my site.
Anyway. I was pleasantly surprised in just about every way possible. Everyone was so kind and genuinely friendly. Even more important? Other FinCon attendees treated me like an equal and Mom and I formed friendships that are very special to us. Of course, the fact that I had a drink ticket that I couldn’t use at all the special events may have been the reason I was so popular, but I try not to think about that possibility…
Back to my Ignite speech.
I was so nervous. And I don’t mean a little nervous. I mean like sweating bullets (could anyone see the sweat stains?) and impending vomit kind of nervous. I thought I might pass out. Truly. I knew my mother would still love me if I bombed, but I wasn’t so sure about the rest of the crowd!
Of course my fears were completely unfounded. It was apparent almost immediately how supportive and fun the crowd was – they came out on a Friday night just to hear from other FinCon attendees! I did feel a little bit better when it was my turn but I was still quite nervous. I made it through the 5 minutes without any gastrointestinal events and even had a little bit of fun.
There are three things I learned from participating in Ignite FinCon:
1 – The people who attend FinCon are the best people in the world. It just doesn’t get any better.
2 – The hours I spent practicing for my speech were worth it. These types of experiences are helping me to become a better communicator. (Thanks for helping me Mom!)
3 – Even when you think you are gonna be sick from nervousness, chances are you won’t actually hurl in front of everyone…
My speech from last year was all about teens, the limited options we have in our society today, and how adults can help us to live successful and fulfilling lives right now. There is no reason teens should have to wait to grow up in order to have a meaningful and valuable life. Here’s my speech:
I hope that you will consider participating in Ignite FinCon this year especially if you have a topic you are passionate about. It is hard to speak in public but it’s a fear worth overcoming!