There's a lot riding on firsts.

Photo by Rasica/iStock / Getty Images

First steps. First date. First job. First home. First day of school. 

The key difference in firsts is that some are also the only shot at something while others are firsts in a series of more to come. For those "only-firsts" you might be inclined to go all out, pull out all the stops, go big or go home. Firsts in a series however, may seem like the time to use what you've always used, sticking to the usual.

When thinking about using technology however, consider inverting the approach. If you've got one chance to make an impression, opt for the "tried and true", the tools you know how to use with ease. Technology is experimental by design and if your audience (e.g. school board) needs your polished, signature show, go with what you know. You and your message should leave the lasting impression not the fact that you tried using a tool that was new to you.  

On the other hand, if you've got multiple opportunities with an audience (e.g. classes of students) and an opportunity to develop a sustained relationship, try out some new tools and experiment a bit. Chances are, if you have a student audience, they will help you, give you honest feedback and ultimately up your game. Your lasting impression will be that you are open to trying new things and co-creating the learning experience with your audience.

What firsts do you have on tap for this year?