A Participant’s Story – Dr. Jason Cabler

Dr. Jason Cabler was another one of the FinCon Ignite ’13 speakers. I’m so glad that he agree to share his Ignite story here with us all. (I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that he was just as nervous as I was when I spoke!) Speaking in front of a group is really hard but Dr. Cabler got through it with the support and encouragement of the great audience – here is his story in his own words:

I decided to participate in FinCon Ignite last year because I wanted to get more experience with public speaking.  Being an introvert by nature, public speaking has never been easy for me.  It’s one of those things I know I can do well if I try, but convincing myself to just get up there and do it is the hardest part for me.


In fact, it was difficult for me to even sign up to do it, because I knew that once I made that commitment, there was no going back, and that was a scary thought.

A Closed Throat and Sweaty Pits

Normally I have no problem speaking to people one on one in my dental practice, or even in a small group setting.  But being the center of attention at the front of a room full of people is a whole different ballgame.  That’s when the throat starts closing up and the sweaty pits go into overdrive!

My first short experience with public speaking had been a total disaster.  My wife and I were asked to greet visitors from the pulpit at our Sunday church service.  I was so nervous that I forgot our pastor’s name!  You can read more about that epic screw up here.

FinCon Ignite Was Totally Different

But since then I had gotten a little better and gained some experience by teaching my Celebrating Financial Freedom get out of debt course to members of our church.  

However, FinCon Ignite was going to be totally different, and I knew it.  I knew I’d be speaking to hundreds of people who were my peers in the blogging world, and that would be a lot harder than being a teacher to the home folks at my church.

Doing an Ignite presentation was an interesting experience because you have to time your speech with your slides, which auto advance every 15 seconds.  If you’re not careful, it can get away from you very quickly!

So I practiced relentlessly to get my timing down and be very precise with my wording so I wouldn’t get lost in the presentation. Every time I practiced, there would always be one or two places where I would get stuck.  That worried me a little, but I had practiced enough that I knew I could just pick things up at the next slide and go on.

Sweating Bullets and a Nervous Twitch

So the night of the presentations came, and the closer it got, the more nervous I became.  You could have started a war with all the bullets I was sweating.  If you could harness the energy in my left foot that was nervously bouncing up and down as I waited, you could have powered a small city for a day or two!

But the people at FinCon are so cool!  I ended up seated next to Maria Nedeva, whom I’d never met before, and she was nice enough to help keep me calm while waiting my turn to speak.

I Froze!

When my time came, I was ready for action.  I got a great start and was getting into a good rhythm, but then, on the 5th slide, I locked up!

The text on the slide didn’t match well with what I had planned on saying, so my brain just froze!

But I was confident, because I knew I had practiced enough that I could just pick it up on the next slide and still be ok.  All the FinCon attendees were so gracious and cheered me on as my brain took a 15 second vacation!

I think that’s one of the best things there is about FinCon.  You’re in a supportive atmosphere where people are willing to help, and want you to succeed. 

It Was An A+ Experience 

As the night came to a close, many of the attendees told me what a great job I did and commented on how inspiring my presentation was.  Even the next day, several people approached me and complimented me on the presentation!

Overall, FinCon Ignite was an A+ experience for me.  It helped me gain more public speaking experience, and boosted my confidence for future speaking opportunities.  I would encourage all FinCon attendees to participate in Ignite this year, because I believe it’s an experience that’s well worth the effort!

Dr. Jason Cabler is a Christian personal finance blogger, author, and speaker.  He teaches how to get out of debt and live a debt free lifestyle through his Celebrating Financial Freedom blog.

A Participant’s Story – Kyle Prevost

I first met Kyle at FinCon ’13. Well, I actually ‘met’ him before FinCon because we were both giving an Ignite speech so I got to know him just a little bit before the conference as we all exchanged emails. Kyle is a great guy and I really enjoyed getting to know him and Justin of My University Money. After FinCon Kyle asked me to be a guest on their podcast. This is just one example of how experienced bloggers are willing to invest in those of us who are new to it all and one of a hundred reasons that every personal finance blogger should plan to attend FinCon!

Kyle recently agreed to answer my questions about his Ignite experience. I asked Kyle to send over some pictures of himself at FinCon and he didn’t have any. I’m not kidding. He did not take the first picture at the conference! Thankfully I had a couple of him so I included them…

Ignite FinCon

Try to imagine that Kyle is in this picture…

Eva:  Why did you decide to participate in FinCon Ignite? Was this your first Ignite speech?

Kyle:  I wanted to do something that would show people that I had some value to offer since I was soaking in so much great information. I guess I also wanted to challenge myself and prove I belonged in the same room as all the other accomplished individuals.

Eva:  How did you choose your topic?

Kyle:  As a teacher, financial education or lack thereof is always an issue on the top of my mind. I wanted to pick something I had a high amount of expertise in that might be something different from everyone else. Finally, I figured it would be an easy sell considering I was basically “preaching to the choir”.

Ignite FinCon

Kyle is in front in the black shirt. Those of us who write for a younger audience had a great lunch on Friday before the Ignite event that night.

Eva:  Did you feel sick to your stomach before you spoke? ;-) Tell the truth!!!

Kyle:  Honestly, I didn’t feel sick. A few butterflies, but I sort of speak in front of people day in and day out so I think that helps.

Eva:  Why should FinCon Attendees participate in FinCon Ignite? If not participating, why should they come and be a part of the crowd?

Kyle:  Ignite is a great adrenaline rush. If you have grand aspirations of having your own session at FinCon one day I think Ignite would be a perfect warm up experience for that. It’s also just a unique challenge if you want to broaden your public speaking horizons.

If not presenting, I think it’s a great opportunity to quickly learn about another person’s area of expertise. I learned an incredible amount of information from some really charismatic people at Ignite’13.

Eva:  What is your favorite memory of FinCon’13?

Kyle:  Meeting so many people is my favorite overall memory. If you forced me to pick a specific time I’d have to say getting to sit next to Pat Flynn at dinner one evening. He was just such a positive and humble person.

Here is Kyle’s Ignite speech:



Ignite FinCon 14 Location Revealed!

I am proud to share that this year’s excellent Ignite FinCon will take place at New Orleans’ very own The Attic at Lucy’s just a short walk from the main FinCon hotel!

Lucy's Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar and Restaurant
701 Tchoupitoulas St
New Orleans, La 70130