Post written by Carie Randle, Accounting Manager

About a month ago, we were contacted by Michael (Mike) Ferrigno, Content Marking and Channel Enablement Manager at Right Networks, the company that hosts our QuickBooks Desktop remote connections.

Mike saw a blog post I’d written called “5 Awesome Tools That Make Virtual Accounting Possible” and asked me to be a guest in their upcoming webinar on QuickBooks Desktop 2018.

At first, I was super excited and couldn’t believe I was being offered my five minutes of fame! But after accepting the invitation, I learned that I would be speaking for 15 minutes. That’s when reality sat in. 15 minutes? I have social anxiety and I’m terrified of speaking in front of people. What could I possibly talk about for 15 minutes?

The fear intensified.

“Ugh, what have I gotten myself into?” I thought. I started to backpedal and began trying to think of ways to get out of it. I haven’t worked with QuickBooks Desktop 2018 yet and I don’t even have access to it to try out the new features. How was I going to be able to give my opinion on its functionality?

I reached back out to Mike, thinking (hoping?) that he would want to find someone else who had the experience I was lacking. NOPE! Mike responded, reassuring me that my talking points were meant to be conceptual. It wouldn’t require me to be an expert on the new functions of the software in order to share thoughts on how helpful they could be.

He also provided a rough draft of the PowerPoint presentation. This eased my mind and enabled me to get a feel for what we were going to present, collect my thoughts, and prepare accordingly.

Presentation day was here before I knew it.

In anticipation of the hour-long webinar, I corralled my dogs into a separate room with bones, went to my computer and logged in for the audio and connection check.

Shortly thereafter, we went live to approximately 160 people!

I’m not going to lie. I was petrified during my first few speaking points. My heart was racing and I could feel a quiver in my voice.

I just kept breathing through it. It wasn’t until about 10 minutes into the webinar when I finally felt my heartbeat returning to a normal pace.

Then, just a few minutes into when I started feeling comfortable, something out of my control happened.

Wouldn’t you know that out of all the days in a week, the one single hour I needed a quiet environment, the neighbor’s mowing company showed up! Over the course of the next 15 minutes, I raised my voice as a push mower, a standup mower, a weed eater and blower each came by my not-sound-proof-home-office-window.

I was worried the whole webinar had been ruined. Thankfully, I learned after the fact that others hadn’t noticed the obnoxious mowers. Whew.

When it was all said and done, Mike thanked me for my time and asked if I would be willing to join him again on the second occurrence of this webinar. Having overcome my fears, I accepted. The next time will be a breeze since the hard part is already over. Soon I just might be able to call myself an experienced webinar guest speaker.

In the end, I learned a lot about overcoming my fears. I’m proud I got outside of my comfort zone and tried something new while helping other people learn in the process.