Monday, November 21, 2005

new world, a little braver

I did something today that I've have never done before, something I did not picture myself doing any time soon. I accepted an invitation to present a workshop at the Oregon Christian Writer’s Conference. This is not the first time I have been invited to present at a conference but it is the first time I have even remotely considered it, let alone accepted.

I am not a public speaker. I tend to avoid presentations like the plague. I am not by nature a brave person. I am more likely to calculate a risk than to take one. But today my world was a little braver.

Several months ago I was having dinner with a friend who challenged me on my “no public speaking ever” policy. They suggested that I was squandering my skills, that I had the ability and simply refused to use it. I guess that’s stayed with me. When I received the invite the other day, those were the first words that ran through my head. I had to stop and think, “Am I really doing that? Just sitting here on something and refusing to do anything with it?” Scary thought.

Earlier today I read a quote that said simply “Don’t let what you can’t do stand in the way of what you can.” So I bit the bullet. I made the call. I put myself on the list of presenters for OCW Conference.

Brave new world indeed.


Sheldon Kotyk said...

Congratulations Claire,

You'll love the feeling afterward.

issachar said...


kelly said...

wow - that's a brave step. way to go!

JAnie & DAve said...

Hey Claire!

Way to go, sounds awesome!
If I can offer any advice, my favourtie workshops are the ones where the Presenter doesn't give all the answers, but rather creates an enviroment where people can share and come to a conclusion together.

For example, I once gave a workshop to High School Teen Leaders on "What is Servant Leadership?" I gave a talk, some example from the scripture, and then asked them what they were going to do about it. It was rough going for a little while, but eventaully one of them "got it", and relayed a story of a friend who had shaved her head along with another young girl who was going through chemo. "Is that what being a servant looks like?"

That moment, where the group listen to her story and let the idea sink into their minds, was infinately better than anything I could have pre-concieved. It was wonderful. (and it took a LOT of pressure off me, the presentor)


JAnie & DAve said...


Right on! I always enjoy listening to you and i think you will do just fine with a workshop. Dave is actually doing a workshop at a huge youth conference in January. Maybe there is a colvin(son) public-speaking gene afterall!
Are you going to England still? Just curious!

Stefanie said...

Congrats Claire! I'm sure you'll do a great job :)

Sue said...

WOW THAT'S AWESOME !! Way to go not-my-sister claire!! :) heehee. can't wait to hear how it all goes....i hate public speaking, but you seem well suited to it! :)