The PechaKucha format is so different and challenging. In standard storytelling, the teller has no additional pressure except for telling the story well and not going past the time limit. In the Pecha format, you have to speak as pictures are projected behind you. The teller has twenty seconds per slide to tell the story of that image. The additional pressure of not coming up short and standing there awkwardly waiting for the next slide, or going long into the next one really impacted me.
I was prepared, but I was stressed. More than I have been in a long time. It was kind of a long drive to the theatre, and I barely had a word to say to my wife. I felt bound up.
Yet, when I walked to the microphone, all my nerves fell away. When my first image was projected, I got right into my story. And frankly, I kind of killed it.
My takeaway from this is that I’ve earned confidence. I belong talking into a mic. As long as I continue to be respectful of the process, I can approach performing with a feeling of belief.