One-hundred slides in ten minutes

“Don’t be offended if people get up and walk out early.”

Awkward pause.

“I mean, I’m sure that many people will stay. It’s just… people are very busy.”

My beautiful wife, Rebekah, has been doing her best to encourage me before my talk at the TYPO3 conference in San Francisco. I need the encouragement. I need to hear that I will do fine. I guess I also need to hear that I shouldn’t be frustrated if half the room walks out halfway through.

I’m in the final stages of preparing for my very first conference talk. I made an extensive outline, designed a comprehensive Keynote deck, and I’m covering a topic that I already wrote about in my book — building mobile websites with TYPO3. Now I just need to perfect the Keynote and practice, practice, practice.

In theory, I should do okay. Only two big things are making me nervous at this point: my talk is 45 minutes and I’m pretty sure everyone in the room will be smarter than me.

I can’t help being nervous about the amount of time I’m given; I’m just really afraid that I’m going to freak out and speed through a hundred slides in ten minutes. I’m not sure if that’s even possible, but it still seems completely likely in the paranoid part of my brain.

As far as everyone in the room being smarter than me, my only hope is that I can shed light on one new idea for each person to make it worth their time; I don’t have to revolutionize site-building, just make it slightly easier. Really, though, I’m coming to grips with the fact that I always just feel like I’ve faked my way into this whole position and I’m just waiting to be found out. Maybe I’ll be found out this time. Maybe I’ll actually have a few good ideas and I’ll go to bed one more night without everyone knowing that I don’t know what I’m doing. I guess we’ll find out this Saturday.