I have written posts in the past about how to deal with technical failures as a speaker: Be prepared. Have backups of your files. Take screenshots or videos of your demos. Rehearse presenting your session with and without your slide deck. I have made plenty of I-wasn’t-prepared-for-that mistakes in the past, and I learned from them.
Last weekend was different. I was supposed to do a precon and a session at SQLSaturday Nashville. I didn’t experience any technical failures. I experienced what felt very much like personal failures.
On Friday, our precon got canceled due to weather.
On Saturday, no one showed up to my session.
I had not prepared for either of those things to happen, and I definitely had not prepared for both of those things to happen on the same weekend. I went through a whole range of emotions in a short amount of time, from embarrassment to disappointment to amusement.
Since then, I have debated with myself about whether or not to write this blog post. I have written and re-written it several times. I did not want to write a blog post full of whining and complaining, but I did want to share my experience as a reminder to both myself and others that:
- These things happen. It’s ok to feel disappointed, but don’t let it stop you from trying again.
- There is always something positive to take away from a negative experience.
- Life is full of ups and downs. Social media (especially my own) often focus on the ups, but life is not amazing all the time.
If you only needed a few reminders, feel free to stop reading here :) The rest of the post is quite long and a little more like a journal entry, really.