Monday, April 9, 2012

Promoting the Cause-and Accomplishing my Goals

Me getting ready for my talk-on the way there_

Last year was my year to really work on skills, like obstacle skills and training skills and really push my boundaries ;-).

This last couple of months I have felt very motivated to really push some of my personal boundaries, working outside the comfort zone! :-).

Soooooo, when a friend asked me to come and speak to her club about positive dog training, I thought yeah, why not...another good place to stretch my limits and work out of the old comfort zone.

As the talk got closer I started to panic-YIKES, who has a topic like positive dog training, much too loose and much too broad. Public speaking always brings back memories of me feeling like a bowl full of jelly in public speaking in junior high school.

I got lost on the way to my presentation, NOT HELPFUL! LOL, but got there on time and I thought there would just be a few people but there was a room full of people. OOOH dear!!!! And to make it worse as I was introduced to people as the speaker of the evening-I started getting more nervous then....I quickly assessed they were not dog people, nice people but not dog people at all!!!!

I had sort of been under the impression these were dog people, so what I had planned really did not seem as appropriate once I met my target audience. I would have been a lot better if I could have spoke right away, but first there was dinner, and a meeting and finally my turn. The extra time did give me a few minutes to think how I could sort of change what I was going to talk about to fit this group more.

I was motioned to the middle of a circle, so there was no hiding ;-). I know my voice was a little shaky at first and I think it cracked a few times but using what I have been learning lately to deal with lots of other things, I just let myself get carried away and took a deep breath and remembered I was talking about something I feel very passionate about, and I trusted myself to be able to communicate that to a group that was not overly interested in dog training, but was a very nice group who I did feel like were on my side.

I talked about how clicker training an positive animal training worked and about the benefits and what was possible, then I shaped a trick with Breeze in front of everyone.

Breeze used to be a bit on the spooky side and prone to bark at strangers so I did not know how she would do, and she used to be pretty poor at shaping....but Cricket was sooo wild after her ride in the car--I felt Breeze was my best bet. She was AWESOME and the crowd was "helping" me-you could hear them marking when we got the right response-it was pretty cool. As soon as we did the shaping I opened up the floor to questions and there were a lot, which were all things I felt pretty good about, all things that were things I felt I could answer with confidence.

I had been asked to do about 15 min, and I thought no way, but with all the questions and discussion at the end it ended up about 40 minutes that just flew by. During the questions Breeze curled up and laid down and snoozed, she acted like she had been a demo dog for years!

I was really proud of myself and proud of Breeze, I felt like we both pushed our boundaries and just being there talking gave me more confidence in what I do know about dogs.....Of course I did leave on a high but by the next morning was thinking of all the things I wish I had said, but in the spirit of being kinder to myself I shoved that to the side and let myself feel good about conquering another challenge, this pushing the comfort zone can be pretty cool sometimes! All in all I do think everyone seemed to be interested so I do not know how much I helped promote positive dog training, but I do not think I hurt the cause at all! hahahaha.


Sara said...

Good for you and Breeze!

Talking in front of a group peers is tough for me too! I dont' know why it seems so different from talking to a classroom of teenagers. Weird.

I'm sure they all learned a lot from you, and were anxious to get home and start shaping something!

Dawn said...

That is great! I know it's hard to do public speaking, but the more you do the easier it will be, never totally easy, but easier. And you passed on wonderful and important information. Someday some of those people WILL be dog people...and they'll remember you, and their dogs will have a better life because of it.

Chris and Ricky said...

Fantastic job!! I hate public speaking. I admire you for doing it and look at all of the people you had a positive influence on who will remember what you said when they get a dog! Congrats to Breeze too!

Diana said...

Good for you!! Thats awesome. I dont think I could have done it. Yay for you and Breeze!!

Sagira said...

Sounds like you did awesome!
Hey be sure to watch our blog in a few days. We recorded Linda Mecklenberg running one of her dogs just for you at Sagira's latest trial. I take it for granted that we get to see her run all the time and thought you might like to see one her runs. :)

Priscilla said...

I never like public speaking and find it really hard; I'll be trembling all over from the start to the end. It's wonderful that you did it and you'd shared so much information with those nice people. I'm sure they'd learnt a lot from you and it would be useful one day when they become a dog person.

Bravo! And give yourself a pat!

A big YAY to Breeze too!

Anonymous said...

That is a HUGE accomplishment! Good for you and Breeze, it sounds like you did fantastic.

Laura, Lance, and Vito said...

That is so great!!! I think I would have panicked realizing that the audience was not who I was planning for!

vici whisner said...

Congrats! Super achievement! Spread the word!

Nicki said...

Great job. I hate talking in front of people. I fight it every day at work!

Elli the cat said...

Concats!! Nice to share what you know....but what was for dinner?

Morganne said...

Awesome! And aren't you glad you went outside your comfort zone? Isn't it a good feeling!

Steffi said...

Wow, way to go!! Sounds like you did an awesome job - especially since you had some many questions. And great job to Breeze as well. I don't know how you do it, I think I would have been so nervous that I would have thrown up :)

- Steffi

Kelly Ely said...

Congratulations!I like your comment about being kinder to yourself! You really should be when stretching outside of your comfort zone! Kudos again!