Today I went to my first public speaking event of the year. I was a panelist at the Google Alumni Networking Night. It was a very low-key event, no preparation, just needed to answer some questions while sitting on a high stool in front of the audience. But I was still nervous. Not when I was speaking, but when the other panelists spoke, because I had no idea where to look! I tried looking at the audience, but that felt awkward, since nobody looked back. I decided to look at the speaker as well, and that seemed fine.
As usual I needed to get a ride home, so on our way back I told my new friends about my nervousness. They said, "Don't worry, no one was looking at you! We were all looking at the speaker." So true. Next time when I am on a panel, I'll look at the speaker too.
My (somewhat arbitrary) goal of the year was 5 lightning talks and 3 full-length lectures. Panels were not included, but I'm going to chalk it up as a lightning talk. When I set up the goal I thought it would be easier to sign up for lightning talks, because they tend to be more causal. As of now I have 4 full-length lectures lined up, but no lightning talks yet. We'll see how it goes as the year progresses.