The countdown is on for my trip to Singapore. I leave early on Tuesday and one thing kind of concerns me.

This always happens when I’m invited to a big event overseas. It’s like an extra potent case of stage fright.

Double or triple anything I get when going to a local school.

It’s because the people at the Asian Festival of Children’s Content paid a good amount to bring me in. They’re putting me in a nice hotel, they’re *investing* in me, and they obviously believe that I have some valuable experiences and knowledge to share with the people who will be attending the conference.

From my storytelling training I learned that being nervous before you’re going to get up to speak to a group is actually a good sign!

It means you respect your audience.

But going to an international venue like this ups the ante considerably. Knowing that people have spent their money to bring me there, makes me very determined not to let them down. I would hate for them to feel that it wasn’t worth it.

Just imagine the debriefing discussion after such an event!

Having organized my share of them I know the kind of work that goes into them and from others have told me about this festival, they are  SUPER organized and treat their speakers very very well.

So I don’t want them thinking that their investment didn’t pay off.

I felt similar when I went to Monterrey in Mexico, and about ten times this type of trepidation when I went to present at the I.B.B.Y. congress in Denmark!

In Denmark I was presenting to basically the world of children’s literature. Delegates from sixty-five different countries, and my topic was extremely controversial! I mean I took on the whole Danish cartoon thing for goodness sakes!!! I literally felt like I was walking into the lion’s den.

The fact that the president of I.B.B.Y. told me afterwards that ‘I blew them away’ in no way lightens the anxiety for this trip.

The best way I find of getting through it is to remember that everything happens for a reason. And that my path is already laid out for me. God knows what will become of this, it’s already been written in a book, a plan, I only have to do my best and carry through.