My goal for 2016 was to make a presentation at a foreign conference. I was not able to finish it, so my goal moved to 2017. I thought it could take me many years to get there. However, in February I was invited to speak at Romanian Testing Conference. Later I was invited for Quality Excites and Testing Cup in Poland. I was very happy while gaining more and more experience as a speaker. But then I realized that I do not see any goal ahead. I could say “get better in speaking” but how to measure that?
A friend of mine, Jean Ann Harrison, came with help. She suggested that next step in speaking is being recognised as a good speaker with amazing story and therefore geting invited to the conference as a Keynote Speaker. This should take some time, shouldn’t it? I was thinking about it as a plan for at least 5 years of hard work. Therefore it was a great surprise for me, to receive an invitation to speak at Belgrade Test Conference as a Keynote. It was great honour and privilige to deliver a talk for students that want to become testers. What was left after that was to run a discussion panel during TestWarez.
This was both amazing and fulfilling, but on the other hand, it demanded a lot of time, energy and persistence. It was a busy year during which my emotional curve looked like EMG signal. I was focused on my tasks and gave 300% of myself into it. I must admit that it even affected my personal life – around 2 weeks before my presentations I was always so stressed out that I had health issues. Many tasks were postponed for “after I get back from the conference”.
For me 2017 is ending now with the summary:
- sent my proposals for 12 calls for papers
- spoke at 2 Foreign conferences
- spoke at 3 Polish conferences
- participated in 1 Foreign conference
- participated in 1 Polish conference
- prepared 3 different presentations
- prepared 1 discussion panel
- met so many great testing friends all around the globe!
I think that the last point is making up for all the negative things about the speaking. Is this the end of my speaking ambitions? No! Right now I need to get better at speaking craft. It means better topics, presentations, English but also better personal brand. On the other hand – speaking will be no longer my main focus and goal for 2018. Time to sail in the new direction!