One of my Interior Design mentors, Joan Long, a professor at the college I attended, called me a few months ago and asked if I would speak at the Student Forum that was being held at the San Francisco design center. I immediately said, "YES". I loved attending the Student Forum when I was a student. It is a series of workshops encompassing many different facets of Interior Design, given by veterans of the design community. My topic was to be, "Graduation to Certification". I can still remember what it was like to be a student, how intimidated I was to walk through the showrooms, and how I looked up to the experienced designers that volunteered their time to be a part of the Forum. It's funny now, it seems like just yesterday I was sitting in the students seats, and now I'm speaking to them with experience. Before I became a working Interior Designer I had so many questions, and I was so eager to learn. I found that some Designers share their experiences freely, and some do not. I wanted to be someone who was open and willing to help students.
When I first arrived for my workshop I looked at the workshop list and I thought, WOW...those are some really good speakers. Why would they want to come to mine? My subject was so personal, it was all about me and the path that I've chosen. I was imagining nobody showing up. And then, the students started arriving and my fears were put to rest. Before I was introduced an evaluation sheet was handed out. Talk about intimidation!!! OMG! I had spoken at the Forum once before on a panel, but this time it was just me. I had decided that my talk would be informal and interactive. I had them introduce themselves and talk about their goals. I wanted my talk to be relevant to the students that were sitting in the audience. It was easy to talk to them, because I had sat in those seats seventeen years earlier. Talking about Interior Design, and myself, was "a piece of cake". The hour flew by quickly. The students asked a lot of great questions, and I think we all wished that we had more time together. It gives me such satisfaction to know that I could give valuable information to them. When it was all over, one of the girls said to me, "I learned more in this workshop than I learned all day", and another said she liked my format the best, and that the others were lectures, and mine was more intimate. Wow! They liked me! They really liked me! I love Interior Design, and I'm very passionate about what I do! Yes, I enjoyed it. I look back to the first time I spoke in front of a group of people...I was scared to death! I had a fear of public speaking, worse than death. Now, I love it, it's easy to talk about something that you love. Will I do it again? Absolutely.
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