I was part of a San Diego Zoo Google+ Hangout this evening where the Zoo’s ambassador, Rick Schwartz, presented research findings and answered questions about his recent trip to study koala conservation on Bee’s Island, Australia. There were four of us in the hangout: Rick, Matt Steele, the moderator and Zoo’s Social Media Planner, and Victor, a long-time friend of Rick’s. Another friend of mine, Michelle, who, along with her son, Dylan, enjoys the Zoo at least as much as I do, if not more, and who writes a terrific blog about her adventures at the Zoo with an emphasis on animal conservation, was also supposed to also participate but she unfortunately had to cancel at the last minute for health reasons.
For me the hangout started out a bit rough with the words to my questions becoming jumbled in my brain before they even had a chance to come out. After the second question I began to settle in a bit better. One friend told me I fidgeted too much. Another friend told me my voice was too high. I embarrassingly agree with both of them. I felt awkward and uncomfortable at first and probably should have practiced a little ahead of time. I’ve had plenty of video chats, but they were all very informal and with friends I talk to every day. This time I needed to be more “professional”, which I kind of failed at. Plus I was bizarrely aware of total strangers watching this live. I’m sure I’ll do better the next time. I already have my backdrop setup ready to go. That I did practice.
After we went “Off Air” Rick and Matt stuck around with me so I could get all the questions I had prepared answered. I had sent all my questions to Rick in advance so he could be ready. For that portion I was casual, relaxed, not fidgety, deeper voiced and more myself. Figures.
Still, I had fun and hope to do it again.