Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Speed of Presenting

This is going to be a two-part story about presenting in two different fashions. Tomorrow I'll cover the speed at which I deliver my presentations, but today I want to cover a different form of presenting, or rather announcing, that I have done twice now.

On iRacing, the 16th St Racing League got revived and the races are broadcasted live on the internet. There was an open call to join Wil Vincent, who is the lead play-by-play announcer and has the skill and voice to make it seem as if he is a leading international motortsport commentator, as part of the broadcast team. I saw this, I applied, and then I thought, "What have I just gotten myself into?"

I've blogged in the past about the length of time it took me to speak on iRacing. And even now I don't find it to be the easiest form of communication. And yet, I applied to be on a broadcast team.

There's one key word I've used in this post so far that is important and that is the word "team." I'm not that good of a team player as I have a constant habit of thinking that whatever I am thinking is exactly what my teammates are thinking. I was worried, going into the first race last month, that this would be a problem.

The first race I did was last month and I didn't feel comfortable at all. It was so hard to find a rhythm and to know when to and when not to talk. Because of this I elected just to not talk at all unless I was 110% sure it was the right time. My problem was I was analyzing my words more so than the race I was supposed to be analyzing. This is the topic I'll cover on tomorrow's blog in a way, but if I am so concerned about timing and the order of play then I'm not going to really know what's going on around me because I am so focused on that.

Then, last night, I had my 2nd race. Having that little bit of practice from race one made me a little bit more aware of how the order of play went. My friends let me know from the first race that I had to speak more. I knew this, but at the same time I don't want to speak too much and overstep my role.

I wanted to do this broadcasting as a way to challenge myself and last night the nerves before the race got as bad as they got when I gave my first presentation in front of a crowd. I should also explain as I've taken it for granted that you understand iRacing and the way broadcasting works, Wil Vincent is from England, Paul Jenkins is from, well, I'm not sure, and then there's me. We aren't in the same room so there is no way to give any sort of social cue as to who's turn it is to speak. Needless to say it is a challenge and as the producer gave the countdown to begin, "3...2...1..." the adrenaline began to surge.

Because of the one race under my belt I felt much more comfortable in my role. After the initial surge of adrenaline it became fun. Fun wouldn't be a word to describe my first race, but just like myself in physical social situations I felt more and more at ease. By lap 10 last night I forgot I was broadcasting anything and it became more like a conversation among three people that enjoy racing.

I wanted to do this for the challenge and by the end of the race last night I was beaming. For one thing the race had so many different interesting storylines, but also, from a personal standpoint, it felt great to be part of a team. This is something that is foreign to me; to be on a team that plays off of each other with words is something I've always struggled in, but knowing a lot about racing, and listening to racing broadcasts my entire life made the ability to do so a lot easier.

So I now find this odd; I've talked about when iRacing becomes a hyper-Kansas but now I'm just as excited to drive as I am awaiting the next chance I get to call the race with Wil and Paul and once again be part of a team.

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