Preparing for my first public speaking event

I wanted to share how I tracked my information for my first, solo public speaking event.

For the next few weeks, I want to share how I use Notion to organize my creative work. So if you ever wanted a peak into how I approach my creative projects, keep reading.

The project

I was invited to be a part of RSM Design’s annual design workshop at their San Clemente office one week before the event.

Kate, the associate designer who reached out, is the community manager with AIGA OC where I’ve shared I was teaching when I was at LCAD. She initially reached out via email for a presentation on what drive my creative and explorative process.

Here’s the full roadmap of the project looked like that I‘ll go more into detail below:

Roadmap for my project


After talking on email for details, and confirming I was available, I met with Kate and Suzanne to learn more information about the people I was talking to and in what context are they learning this information. I’m a Taurus, so I find it important to know as much information as possible of the spaces I’m about to go in, if I’m going to be comfortable.

My notes for these initial talks were loose. I mainly focused on the conversation, and only wanted to capture really basic things.

Rough notes from our meetings

In these talks, I learned that I was talking to designers with a wide range of experiences, from a designer who had been out of school for a few months to owners with 20+ years experience. Because of this, I wanted to approach my talk in a way that was uniquely personal.

So I thought about what drives my creativity and sometimes, it’s having the space to create fun including the things that IS furthest from work: playing with my flow toys or teaching my Zumba classes, both hobbies stemmed from embracing rejection in my past.

When I applied for the Adobe Creative Residency in 2021, I had an idea to have a dance break at Adobe MAX where I would lead everyone in a Zumba-style dance warm-up. I thought it would be fun to test it out here, because who wouldn’t want to start a talk in dance.

I asked Kate and Suzanne if this would be feasible based on the site they were building it was totally possible.

This helped structure the direction of the talk.


After confirming, I created a new project in Notion for building out my talk.

Screenshot of my project notes

I used the Zumba warm-up as a structure for the talk to mirror the same 3-step framework I help my clients through in my 1:1 coaching program.

  • a purpose you believe in > a song with a consistent rhythm and 4 bar, 8-count structure
  • a clear roadmap you can follow > steps and choreo combination modeled in repetition
  • do the work > dancing

I included a combination of visual content I’ve created in the past, but updated the delivery so it was primarily from my perspective vs a perspective of my clients.

Here are a few of my favorite slides:

The slide that cues the *music*
Intro on what my talk was about
My friend, Chase, actually took this candid photo of me in a workshop and I love using it to illustrate what is important to me.
My theory that the creative feedback loop needs a safe space for you to practice your ideas, before you invite people you trust, and before you share with others.


Arrival on the day was seamless.

The outdoor space I was presenting in was a huge tent that had all these tables for the team. People helped out with setup quickly, making it easy to get settled and chat with some of the designers.

I was the first thing on the event agenda and though it made me a little nervous to start-off the day, but doing Zumba melted away ALL my anxiety.

Leading RSM in Zumba
Time to get a little serious

Kate told me before that something she does was do this little ritual where she does a little transformation before her talks. I felt like a whole sailor moon transformation sequence happened and I felt a surge of confidence in presenting my slides.

Once my presentation was done, I got to hang out to see more of the team activities and learn more about RSM Design. It felt like a unique position to be a guest.

During one of the activities, I got to tour the inside of their RSM San Clemente office and see some of their team projects. The details they invest in their space and their activities felt like they were done with care and love.

I got to spend most of the day with one of my old typography students, Thi, where I got to learn about her working experience after school and working as a designer at RSM.

I stayed up until Kate’s talk on public speaking before I said bye and thanked Kate and Suzanne for having me.

Here are some things I took away from my experience:

To use something I am comfortable doing to give me courage into something I am not as comfortable with. If I do this, I never have to enter a new experience starting from scratch. This also reminds me that it’s okay to take the time to build up my courage before I need to share it comfortably with others.

To share ALL my thoughts for activities during discovery OR not do it at all. I planned for an activity where people would write on index cards and I didn’t realize that there would be an activity right before AND after that would be pretty similar. Next time,

Lead with what I know. There may always be someone who has more experience, is more talented, has more charisma, or whatever..but sharing the story of how what I’ve overcome in my life and career to inspire how I make choices now is something I can never compare with anyone else.

with Kate and Thi!

I wanted to share some special thanks to Kate for reaching out, Suzanne for letting me play the Egg Song before the team’s egg drop competition, Cory who helped me set up my music for Zumba on the loud speakers, Aaron helping with connecting to the TV, Thi for hanging out with me and the whole RSM team for your attention and being down to do something new like dancing Zumba.

Also thanks to you, for reading this.

P.S. Want to learn how I set up my Notion to manage multiple projects? Register for my upcoming LIVE Training on Thursday, November 17 at

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