My talk at Ignite Phoenix 13

On Friday evening I gave a 5-minute talk on chasing storms in front of 850ish people at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. It was all part of Ignite Phoenix, a very cool event and something I’m super proud to have been involved with.

But it took a lot of encouragement, praying and rehearsing to get it done. I don’t like public speaking at all…it’s always been my biggest fear and my Achille’s Heal. But in the last year or two, with all this storm chasing stuff, the haboob video…I’ve suddenly been doing a lot more things like this. I think all those TV interviews were preparation for what happened on Friday. I also need to thank Jeff from Ignite for pushing me to stick with it and do the presentation.

I’d basically been nervous for a month leading up to this. I knew my material so well I could repeat it in my sleep. It was just the act of going out on stage and turning to face 850 that scared me to death.

I still remember walking out, turning and saying to myself…”okay…here we go.” And then I spoke. And I did good.

I left the stage almost floating…hugging everyone I could. I was almost in tears. A few of us had to go sit in a special place until intermission, but all I wanted to do was find Jina in the audience and hold her forever. She believed in me, helped me and is the only reason I could ever do that.

This is something I’m so very proud of. I feel like maybe I can do anything now.

Hope you enjoy it!

6 replies
  1. Ken
    Ken says:

    Mike, I’ve been following you and your work for about three months, I have sent you a few tweets as to the GREAT photos you have posted. You have a great gift for doing what a lot of people would like to. Your speech was grand, I myself don’t like to speak in front of the masses as well. Keep up the GREAT work and live your life as it was your last day. Someday you will be among some of the greatest that bring people and their hobbies in life together. You have a beautiful family as well. Great job MIKE.

  2. Toad Hollow Photography
    Toad Hollow Photography says:

    Mike, Mrs. Toad and I just sat here and watched this agape! We are so happy and excited for you! It could not have happened to anyone more deserving, we’ve been following you for quite some time now and have been expecting great things to come your way. It’s so inspiring and exciting to see it happen like this! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing this with us all!!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] My talk at Ignite Phoenix 13 – if ever you’ve had a need to see something heartening and exciting, something that would make you believe that it can happen if only you have faith, check out this video.  Mike Olbinski is well known for his affinity and talents in the field of storm based photography.  Recently he was invited to speak in front of a huge crowd for a special “Ignite Phoenix” event, and this video is of that speech.  This is a truly inspiring presentation. […]

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