Don’t be afraid of presenting!

A Diary of a Working Woman

Hello, this is Katie.
I work as a Project Manager in Kansas City.
This time I talk about giving presentations. Or is it my friends who’s talking?

The biggest fear of mankind

What are people the most scared of? Disease? No. Poverty? No. Snakes and spiders? No.
The award of ‘Scary Thing Number One’ goes to public speaking every year! Seriously, people fear public speaking more than death! I read a funny note that said people at funerals would be happier to be in the coffin than doing the eulogy!

Brainstorming with my friends

Why am I talking about public speaking? Well, last week I was asked to prepare GTD and eWay-CRM Tasks trainings for my whole company!

I worked on the hard material very thoroughly and when I felt like I had enough to say, I started to think about HOW to say it. I called up my boyfriend, Ted, and my best friend, Janice, and we went on a brainstorming dinner. Janice brought Mark, a barista she recently met. Despite being younger than Janice, he turned out to be a very sensible and smart man… Or should I say boy?

“I wouldn’t worry about presenting, if I were you,” he smiled at me. “The most important thing is to know a lot about the topic. And you seem to know everything! No question will surprise you.”

“Thanks,” I replied. “But I will get nervous standing in front of the whole company!”

“They say it’s important to rehearse,” Ted said. “In front of a mirror or to a person close to you. You can give the presentation to us first! Then you won’t be nervous.”

“But what if I forget what I wanted to say?” I asked.

“But, but, but!” replied Janice. “Then you’ll just smile and ask a question to engage your audience. That will give you some time to think!”

“Pictures and charts are also helpful,” Mark said between bites of steak. “Make sure you have some graphics on most of your slides. It will help you remember what you wanted to say!”

“Don’t forget eye contact!” Ted added. “Relax before and when it comes to presenting, just speak clearly and interact with your audience as much as possible.”

“And wear something nice!” Janice said quickly and finished her glass of wine.

“It’s not a fashion show!” I defended.

“Janice is right,” Mark supported her. “Wear your favorite formal clothes. You will feel more comfortable and confident.”

Thank God for friends!

I was moved by the way they all tried to help me. Nobody complained about the work topic leading the whole dinner. They all gave their unique point of view and I feel so much better now. So, if you end up giving a presentation, don’t forget to research thoroughly, rehearse your performance, wear something nice, relax and speak clearly, and keep eye contact. And my personal, final piece of advice is – make sure to have a dinner with your friends before. It feels so supportive!

Next time, I’ll tell you how the presentation went and whether my friends’ advice helped.

 

Yours,

Katie

 

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