She walked nervously to the podium. She stepped into the spotlight and was momentarily blinded. As she took her place before the microphone, she looked out at the audience that had come to hear her speak and breathed deep. She thanked them all for coming and that today’s presentation would be brief. At first, her words were as rapid as her heartbeat and her hand shook as she clicked the button to advance the slides. But when they laughed at the first big joke, it was like a fever broke. She was less worried that the audience would somehow turn into a pack of hungry wolves and lead upon her from the shadows to devour her. They felt a little more like a room full of friends.
The presentation continued and she began to forget to be afraid. It started to be fun; the babbling chuckle of a joke well landed, the warm silence as they leaned in with interest. The barrier between she and they began to fall away as they simply became the moment; as the idea swelled and absorbed them all as one. As she read the final slide and thanked them all for their attention, the spell was broken and suddenly the moment was over. There she stood on the stage before a room of shadows and with her last words, “Thank you,” applause erupted. Just like that, the thing that had scared her more than anything was behind her. This idea that had been so tiny and fragile that she feared to share with the world was now out there, bigger and more viable than she ever imagined.
As the applause settled down, she motioned for the house lights to be brought up. “Again, thank you. Thank each and every one of you, for staying, for listening, for believing. Now I must ask for your support. We are seeking investors. People who want to see the project succeed. We need people who can give something more valuable than money; time. If you can spare but even a few minutes a day, then we will have what we need to continue our research and reach the next stage of the project. Your temporal investment will bring us far closer to achieving this dream than ever imagined. Thank you.”