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Photographic Workshops and Tours – the pains of Public Speaking

September 20th, 2010

I spent the day today, between talking to clients, working on my presentations for the next photographic workshop, Perfect Printing.  Today i was writing up the notes for the colour management part of the course, and i found myself just writing and writing and writing… i kept thinking, this is way too much,  this talk is only supposed to last an hour or so and i’m going to go on all day!

Its amazing how teaching something to others can really clarify it in your own mind, i mean, colour management, the words that can strike fear into the hearts of the  bravest photographer, is something that i learned by osmosis over many years of trial and error.  Reading a bit here a bit there, getting crazy results and trying to figure out why, talking to somebody in passing and picking up a tip or two, reading a bit more.  Now i’m trying to collate all these years of experiences and condense them down into a palatable not too boring talk of an hour or so… because this is, after all, just one component of the 3 day photographic workshop about printing.

It seems the art is not so much about what to put in, but what to leave out, thats what i mean by clarifying, its forcing me to organise my thoughts on something that i’ve never tried to explain to anyone before and really glean out the important bits.  Its actually a fantastic process, and one i am enjoying very much.

This is only my second full photographic workshop (teaching, that is), so it’s still a very new experience for me and  has surprised me just how much fun it can be.  Its taken me many years to feel that i have reached a standard high enough to be able to teach anything to others, and the great thing is that it really is a two way process,  i am learning about as much again in return, both in the preparation, and in the presentation.

It is said that its good to face your fears.  One of my fears has always been public speaking, i don’t shoot wilderness landscapes for nothing you know, no crowds to direct out there!  At the last workshop just before my first presentation i felt like i was going to die and running away seemed like an excellent alternative option.  Just me in front of 30 odd people… it felt like 30,000.  Suddenly it all felt very real, and i was $hitting myself!

Well, i got the first word out, then the second and the the third, and i didn’t die.  by the time i got to the third or fourth sentence i felt my heart slow down a little and i could almost breath again… Then i began enjoying myself.  People actually laughed at my jokes (They were jokes about me, always the best topic for jokes i reckon, can’t hurt anybodies feelings that way), and they seemed to be interested in what i had to say!  It was a great experience and my one hour talk went on for two and a half hours.

I cant really say I’m totally over my fear of public speaking, i reckon i’ll still get the urge to run away. Plus  now i’ve got the extra challenge of  trying to make Colour Management sound interesting and exotic!  Got to think up some new jokes… lots of them…

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