Go Beyond Your Comfort Zone

Thursday night, I participated in an event called IGNITE Carroll. What’s Ignite Carroll you ask?

This was my chance to take the stage and to “enlighten” the audience about one of my passions! BUT, I had to “make it quick!” The IGNITE concept puts multiple speakers in front of an audience with only 5 minutes to speak on a topic with a power-point presentation that auto advances every 15 seconds.

And what did a photographer and web designer decide to speak about you ask? My topic was “The Art Of Juggling”, and I mean literal juggling… with balls. I was nervous… I wondered more than once why I had put myself in this position, talking in-front of an entire theater audience, on camera to be recorded and put online FOREVER! Then crap, I found out I was first. And let me tell you, I got a lot more than I expected…

I planned on taking it easy and not OVER practicing my speech as April 23rd approached ever so slowly…

Well, that didn’t happen. I practiced… a lot.

But the day of the show, I didn’t practice once. And I didn’t take any notes. I wanted to truly take in the whole night and enjoy myself, not fret over perfection.

At the show? I nailed it. And for the first time, I was not shaking after speaking infront of a group.

Comfort Zone Expansion ACHIEVED!

The comradery was the most gratifying… the fun leading up to the event and the night of the event, even weeks before, was a great way to connect with the organizers and other speakers. I feel closer to two of my fellow speakers than ever before! And during and after the show, the hoots and hollers, and speakers coming up to each other to compliment one another, just goes to show you how supportive like-minded, creative, and outgoing individuals are.

After the fact… I’m already trying to figure out what to speak about next. That alone should be a testament in itself… you should be there, in the audience or on the stage, at the next IGNITE Carroll!!!


2015 IGNITE Speakers

“The Art of Juggling”
Kelly Heck, Owner Kelly Heck Photography & Website GURL

“Back to the Future”
Drew Richardson, Owner, Lucidity Research

“Main Street: Where Unity meets Community”
Michelle Sholund, Owner, By the Bay Botanicals

“Making Time Matter”
Mark Blacksten, Vice President & Team Manager, M&T Bank

“Print Advertising is Still Alive”
Ashley Moore, MDB Maryland and Trembling Giant Marketing Relationship Manager

“Importance of Keeping A Personal Health Record”
Bob Cage, Managing Partner, Hippocratic Systems, LLC

“What can James Bond and Jason Bourne teach us about changing American values and ideologies in the aftermath of the Cold War? Maybe a lot.”
Bryn Upton, Associate Professor of History, McDaniel College

Vince Buscemi, Chairman, CTC Board of Directors & McDaniel College Director of Digital Communications & Social Media

“Marriage Matters”
Amy Gilford, Relationship Educator, Marriage & Relationship Education Center

“Story Corps”
Tina Waganer, Owner Cre-a-tv

“Honey Bees”
Randy Linville, Millville Farms

“Advocating for your Loved Ones with Dementia”
Kathy Rus, Owner Law Office of D. Kathleen Rus

“Drones – Reality vs. Myth”
Chris Allport, Partner, New Spin Robotics


IGNITE Carroll is arranged by the Carroll Tech Council. Learn more at http://carrolltechcouncil.org/ignite/

Read an article about IGNITE Carroll 4 in the Carroll County TImes.