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A Whirlwind Weekend: The Tiny House Jamboree

Photo by Tammy Strobel

Last weekend, I flew to Arlington, Texas to give a talk at The Tiny House & Simple Living Jamboree. During October, I devoted a large chunk of my time to organizing and practicing my talk—Life in 128 Square Feet & Beyond. The advice Chris Anderson gave in his book—TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking—made my presentation better, and more concise. If you’re preparing for a speaking event, I highly recommend reading Chris’s book.

Overall, the presentation went okay. I felt like I talked too fast and skipped over some important points. Without a video of my presentation, it’s hard to for me to evaluate how the talk flowed. I tend to be hard on myself, so I’m choosing to believe the positive feedback I received from attendees and my friends. For example, my buddy Dee said my talk was the best I’ve given, and that I made her laugh and cry. Her kind words mean a lot to me because public speaking—especially speaking in front of large groups—freaks me out.

I’m glad I said yes to the speaking opportunity because it was a fun weekend. Some of my favorite moments from the weekend included:

1. I reconnected with my friend Dee Williams. Dee inspired our tiny house adventures, designed our tiny house, and I’m honored to call her a friend. Also, her book—The Big Tiny—is touching and beautiful!

2. I spent time with my girlfriends Cait Flanders and Courtney Carver. Courtney and I were speakers at the Jamboree, and Cait was in Dallas for a conference. The timing was serendipitous! I can’t believe we were all in Texas at the same time!

3. My CrossFit coach gave me extra workouts, so I got up early and did them. I was tempted to hit snooze and sleep for a few more hours, but I’m glad I got out of bed and made time to sweat. The workouts eased massive pre-presentation anxiety.

4. A few hours before my talk, I got stuck in an elevator at the Arlington Sheraton and had a panic attack. It might seem weird that this is a conference highlight, but I’m scared of elevators. I’ve been trying to overcome this fear by taking more elevator rides. When I was stuck in the elevator, I thought I was going to pass out or get sick. Thankfully, neither of those things occurred. As my vision blurred, I had enough sense to sit on the floor in the elevator and take deep breaths. Once I calmed down, I hit the emergency call button. A staffer rescued me 10 minutes later. I took the stairs for the rest of the weekend and made it to my talk on time!

5. I loved seeing Courtney speak about Project 333 at the Jamboree. She rocked it!

6. Yuichi Takeuchi and Ben Matsunaga screened their documentary Simplife at the Jamboree and it was beautiful. Their film is about people living simply in tiny homes.

7. Texans are so friendly! Everyone I encountered was kind and helpful. I didn’t have time to explore Arlington, Dallas, or the surrounding area because I landed in Dallas on Friday afternoon and left on Sunday evening. Spending time at the conference was my main priority. Next time Texas! I’m coming for you!

There you have it! If you’ve got additional questions about the Jamboree, leave a comment below.

Photo by Tammy Strobel

News …

  • A Simple Year 2018 is available for early registration. Join by November 14, 2017, and save $50 off the regular registration rate. Learn more and join here.
  • If you have questions about A Simple Year, Courtney Carver is hosting a free webinar and program overview on Thursday, November 2, 2017. Sign up here.
  • My blog will always be available for free. However, if you like my essays, photos, and curated happy links, please support my work on Patreon.

Links & resources to explore . . .

  • Simplife—a film about people living simply in handcrafted houses

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Tammy October 31, 2017, 5:56 pm

    From one Tammy to another…your elevator story would have freaked me out. Although I use elevators every day, as a NYC resident, I still have a serious fear of getting stuck. So glad you made it through without too much fear.

    • Tammy Strobel November 1, 2017, 5:12 am

      Me too! I was nervous that I wouldn’t make it to my talk. Thankfully, I’m always early. 🙂 xoxo.

  • Terri November 1, 2017, 5:50 am

    Tammy, I had no idea you were so afraid of public speaking. You seem so comfortable with it, or at least speaking in interviews. Having been a reference librarian for many years of my life, I can tell you that it does get easier. And no matter how often you do it, you will ALWAYS forget to say something you meant to, or think back and critique yourself about how things might have been done better. What I try to do instead, to combat those feelings, is do like you did – just focus on how it appeared to be received, and how it felt at the end, if people were being receptive and attentive, and if it seemed like they took something away from it.

    I love Cait’s blog and am an avid follower of both her blog and her podcast with Carrie Smith Nicholson. Such genuine, down to earth people, so I’m not surprised you call Cait a good friend.

    Thank you so much for mentioning the Simpllife movie – I can’t wait to see it!

    I may not always comment on your blog, but I love seeing how you have grown over the past several years. Keep up the good work, and especially the exercising! 🙂

    • Tammy Strobel November 1, 2017, 4:00 pm

      Thanks Terri! I appreciate the comment and your kind words. 🙂 Interviews are easier for me. I still get nervous, but typically they are one on one. Speaking in front of larger groups is harder for me. I have to keep practicing! Thanks for reading! xoxo.

  • Dora November 2, 2017, 5:55 am

    Hi Tammy. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities with us. Sometimes it seems like the internet is full of super men and women who fear nothing and have it all figured out. I too have to deal with strong anxiety in some situations and it’s good to know about other people who feel the same and what strategies they use to face their fears. So thanks for being brave to talk about this.
    Now on the tiny house jamboree – it must have been awesome! I wish the tiny house movement gets stronger here in Europe in the next years, and we get to have such exciting events 😉

    • Tammy Strobel November 2, 2017, 11:49 am

      Thanks Dora! And yes, the jamboree was fun! It was nice connecting with readers and fellow bloggers. 🙂 Maybe the Jamboree will be held in Europe some day? Thanks for reading!

  • Denise November 2, 2017, 3:33 pm

    After reading your blog all these years, it was such a treat to meet you. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Jamboree. And I will remember to question “what is enough?” Thanks for sharing.

    • Tammy Strobel November 3, 2017, 8:15 am

      It was such a joy to meet you Denise! Take care and thanks for attending the Jamboree. xoxo!