Presenting to semi-drunk audiences

So, I said I would post about nerd nite, and here it is. Super delayed, super excuses – yadda, yadda.

Anyway, nerd nite was a great experience for me. I have attended all five Vancouver nites, and have loved every one of them.

To be fair, I was very nervous for this occasion. Speaking in front of a new audience who paid to listen to me speak, or came specifically for the “plant sex” talk, is a new experience for me. I also had the added pressure of presenting for one of my best friends (and well-respected science woman), and alongside a science communicator I really look up to.

As a speaker, it was interesting to say the least. Having everyone in your audience be semi-drunk, semi-uninterested, and semi-know-it-all, its rather unpredictable. My topic – “The Seedy Side of Plants” was filled with sex. And pervy jokes. As someone who loves communicating science, this was an outstanding opportunity to try out my 19+ jokes on an audience who would actually laugh at them! I was really happy with how my talk went, and how engaged the audience was. I made some friends, had many good laughs, and feel totally embraced in the Vancouver nerd scene.

As an audience member, the format is very inviting. The talks are short, tickets are cheap, the beer is flowing, and the topics are varied. It is a great way to be exposed to other nerdy topics, as most people come for one speaker, and stay for the other two. It’s also great to meet people in your field, or who share the same interest as you. Conveniently, its a 10-minute walk from my house, so that helps.

Watching people walk by the cafe, and poke their heads in the window to check out speakers during the summer was really something special. Nerds are everywhere, and even if you aren’t a nerd, listening to nerds talk about what they love while consuming balsamaceous beverages is always enjoyable.

If you are in Vancouver, I would highly recommend going to the next talk in September. If not, check out the Nerd Nite global page for a list of the cities this event runs in.

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