Photo by Sebastian Moreno.
Would it intrigue you to know that, today at lunch, one of the world’s greatest public speakers sat next to me? It was the result of my putting myself in the company of high quality people for several years. There were times when I had to push myself, and times when I’ve made social mistakes; but I knew that if I kept immersing myself in positive environments, eventually I would grow.
A public speaking friend (Thanks, Elaine!) brought me to Patricia Fripp’s workshop “How to Prepare and Present Powerful Presentations” as a guest. I was already familiar with the Fripp speech model, but since “Learning requires repetition and reinforcement,” as she says, it was helpful to hear it again. Today, she gave a more interactive version of the workshop, with more audience questions, mini-coaching, and of course, general audience interaction. I’ve heard of people who are so adept at reading others that it’s almost as if they can read minds. I now know that they’re not just urban legends. She could tell just from watching the audience that I was star struck and nervous around her, and she wasn’t going to let me stay that way–she made sure I got a big dose of Fripp! I’ll definitely be more at ease the next time I meet a celebrity.
This is the third time I’ve seen Fripp live. Her presentations are so content rich that they give me that light-headed buzz after about an hour, yet I push myself to stay focused and absorb all I can. Several times during the presentation she asks the audience “What have you learned so far?” I can’t remember, but then I’ll hear myself quoting her over the next several days. “It’s hard to be creative in isolation,” I told my lunch mates, as we recounted how much we value face to face meetings.
That was when she came to our table and helped an NSA member hone an upcoming presentation. I had no well-formed questions, so I just observed. There’s value in the presence of high-achieving people above their words. Beyond listening to them, modeling them is an indispensable way to learn from them; and mindset is contagious.
Thank you, Patricia Fripp, for sharing your time and attention with us. I hope to see you again soon, and when I do, I’ll have some progress to show you.
Photo by Fredrik Tegnér.
Since this was such a popular topic at the Women Who Code meetup, here are some of the resources we discussed (and some we didn’t).
I’m mentoring at the Open Source Workshop #3 given by Women Who Code. There’s a special OPW focus today, because the application period opened yesterday. The most popular topic so far has been IRC; how to choose and set up a client, how communities use it, and sorting out the initially confusing tangle of clients, networks, and channels. (Networks’ web clients, helpful as they may be, can add to this confusion.) It’s been productive; lots of attendees are interested in getting started with open source, whether they become involved with OPW or not.
There’s one more workshop coming up, on October 4. This one will be held at Brightroll in San Francisco. If you’re interested, it’s not too early to RSVP.
If you, or someone you know, has been considering applying for a Gnome Outreach Program for Women internship, now is the time! The application period for Round 9 starts today. Participating organizations so far are the Linux Kernel (of course); Evergreen; Mesos, Aurora, and Pants; and X.org. See the announcement and instructions at the OPW site. If you’re interested in working with the Kernel (even if you’re not pursuing an internship), the OPW Intro page at Kernel Newbies is the place to start.
Photo by michaelchan1981.