Reading Being You: A New Science of Consciousness by Anil Seth.
Monday, July 4th, 2022
Thursday, December 10th, 2020
Friday, June 28th, 2019
Thank you so much, Dan—so glad you could be here for it!
Wednesday, May 29th, 2019
Patterns Day is now sold out …but if you missed out on tickets, there’s one way you can still make it to the event: your company can sponsor it.
Saturday, March 30th, 2019
Wednesday, July 11th, 2018
Friday, January 19th, 2018
Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
Friday, October 23rd, 2015
Rosa and Charlotte will both be speaking at Bytes Conf here in Brighton next week (don’t bother trying to get a ticket—it’s all sold out).
I’ve been helping them in their preparation, listening to them run through their talks, and offering bits of advice on the content and delivery. Charlotte said she was really nervous presenting to just the two of us. I said “I know what you mean.”
In the past I’ve tried giving practice run-throughs of upcoming conference talks to some of my co-workers at Clearleft. I always found that far more intimidating than giving the talk to room filled with hundreds of strangers.
In fact, just last night I did a practice run of my latest talk at Brighton’s excellent Async gathering, and seeing both Charlotte and Graham in attendance increased my nervousness.
Why is that?
I’ve been thinking about it, and I think it comes down to self-presentation.
We like to think that we have one single personality, but the truth is that we adjust our behaviour constantly to suit the situation. I behave differently when I’m interacting with a shopkeeper than when I’m interacting with my co-workers than when I’m interacting with my family. We adjust how we present ourselves, in subtle and not-so-subtle ways.
If you’re presenting a talk at a conference, it helps to present yourself differently than how you’d present yourself when you’re hanging out with your friends. There’s an element of theatricality—however subtle—in speaking in front of a room full of people. It can really help to slip into a more confident persona.
But if you’re presenting that same talk in a small room to a group of friends, it feels really, really strange to slip into that persona. It feels as strange as interacting with your family as though you were interacting with a shopkeeper.
I think that’s what’s at the root of the discomfort I feel when I try testing a talk on my co-workers. If I present myself in the informal mode I’d usually take with these people, the talk feels all wrong. But if I present myself in my stage persona, it feels weird to do that with these people. So either way, it’s going to feel really strange. Hence the nervousness.
Thing is …I’m not sure if being aware of this helps in any way.
Wednesday, July 15th, 2015
Sunday, August 24th, 2014
Wednesday, December 12th, 2007
The word w00t has been voted Merriam-Webster word of the year 2007. Slow year.