137 Books at Ignite

137 Books in One Year Presentation at Ignite / Photo by MNHeadhunterOn Wednesday night I spoke at the Ignite Minneapolis event, as I mentioned earlier, and I survived.

I talked about reading a lot of books and basically just geeked about reading. Good fun. I tried not to be too obnoxious plugging my own book, 137 Books in One Year.

In the end it was great fun. My talk went well, I got some laughs and heard from a lot of folks afterward. It started a lot of conversations about books, which is the whole goal. It’s fun hearing from people who are trying out my book recommendations and loving them.

The Pioneer Press covered the event and I was quoted. The headline, “Ignite Minneapolis gives shy people 5 minutes of fame” makes me feel a bit like the poster boy for the fear of public speaking. But I’ll take it:

“I am usually pretty terrified of public speaking,” said Kevin Hendricks of West St. Paul, who spoke about having read 137 books in a year and writing a book about that feat.

And, unlike other Ignite speakers who feel their fear dissipate when launching into their talks, Hendricks remained petrified throughout.

“My heart rate is up,” he said afterward. “I’m trying to catch my breath. It’s like I went running or something.”

But he said he “got a rush out of it. The timing worked out pretty well, and I had a couple of jokes I could stick in there. It was scary, but I survived.”

Any time you get quoted in the paper and don’t say something too stupid, that’s a win.

While I’m still not a fan of public speaking, I am finding that it’s survivable. I have Darrell Vesterfelt to thank for that. He encouraged me to share at the Speak Conference in 2011 and I grudgingly agreed. I’ve spoken on a few other occasions since then and I think I’m getting used to it. Still terrifies me, but I think it’s one of those things you just have to stare down and do.

Speaking of folks I owe a debt to, I’ve had so many people thank me for the talk or tell me they were watching online. That’s really encouraging. Thanks. My parents were even watching from Kansas and my wife came with me (usually I’m solo on these local business/networking deals). Thanks! I’ve got a lot of people supporting me and cheering me on, and that’s pretty incredible. So thank you.

Video from the event should be posted in a week or two, so if you want to catch my talk (or the other great 5-minute talks), you can.

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