Wednesday 3 August 2011

My Journey Through RSCON3

RSCON3 2011 Presenter

Way back in May, I had a private message from Shelly:

RSCON3 2011 Presenter

I mulled it over for a short time, and gave her a negative answer, citing connection problems as an excuse. The deadline came and went; then came another message. Subtly, being the smooth operator she is, she said something like she wasn't sure if she'd asked me before, but if she hadn't, she would like me to present.

That was when I learned that it was impossible to say 'no' to Shelly!

By June 19, I'd stepped out of my comfort zone and accepted.

I'd never attended an online conference before; I might have spent a few minutes in a webinar, but that was the extent of my experience. The seed of nerves was sprouting fast.

Add to that, the training sessions came and went, and I barely made the last, held on 17th July. Although Jo & Phil Hart are a phenomenon, most of the people in the room had done previous training, and I was, to put it mildly, a little lost.

Thankfully, the training sessions were recorded, and my life was saved. I watched the first one, and even before I'd watched the second in its entirety, I already felt confident. Of course, having a training room was indispensable. I would pause the recording, rehearsed it in the training room, and continued. I hung around the training room even though I might not have been practising. I received people and helped where I could. The best form of learning is teaching! And, need I say, the best form of teaching is learning!

From then, my journey changed its pace dramatically; it was like shifting from first to fifth gear. A week later, I'd volunteered to moderate for a few presenters, in response to a call for help. Me, moderate! A complete novice. The seed of nerves I mentioned earlier, by now, has grown into a tree.

You know, when one moves at such a pace, there's just no time to be looking back, or even turning the head. One has just got to remain focussed on the journey. RSCON3 was like a perfect platform for me, the container I needed to snug in comfortably.

Those of you who had been following the symposium would have seen me drifting in and out of rooms. They were desperately short of hands, and it was like my karma to appear when and where help was needed. There was no room for fear. Amidst such company of selfless generosity and passion, one can't help but be engulfed by it. I was no longer a novice. And if there was something I didn't know, I had two amazing mentors in Jo & Phil Hart.

So, I'd just like to thank Shelly for her subtle insistence that I took part, to Clive, for his amazing schedules, which made searching for information so much easier, and to Jo & Phil for teaching me so much in so little time.

The feedback and the energy before, during and after the journey has been tremendous. I've read hundreds of comments, all, bar one, of which have been positive. I've noted down things that could be improved upon on a list, to which that single negative comment had no contribution, ironically.

Thank you all, organisers, presenters, attendees, for contributing to my incredibly memorable journey.