I hadn’t had much experience of presenting, in fact, I’d delivered two presentations in my life and one of those was to a room of just two people. And here I was, about to deliver a presentation to a room of nearly a hundred people; my colleagues, the Senior Management team, our Director and to top it off the UK Managing Director and CEO who were both visiting for the day. It also didn’t help that the Managing Director was incredibly handsome!
Brilliant. I was terrified. I’d been dreading this day for the last two weeks. I just felt so embarrassed and mortified about all these people that were going to be looking at me. I wanted the ground to open up.
I somehow managed to hold some sort of composure until the guy speaking before me came to an end, at which point my heart began to crash so wildly and so loudly I was convinced other people could hear it. I was consumed by a wall of fear and I really didn’t know what to do next. There is no feeling I could ever compare it to. I felt frozen. My mind went blank and all I could hear was my heart pounding.
Next thing I’m introduced on stage and there’s now a sea of blurred faces staring back at me. I felt like a fraud. What on earth was I doing up here and why would all these professional people believe I actually had anything significant to say? I certainly didn’t believe in myself so why would anyone else?! I was convinced I was going to come across like a blathering idiot.
I did it though. I delivered what I’d practised for weeks and though I have absolutely no recollection about what I said, and I know I blushed bright red the whole way through, I did it. And that’s all that mattered.
But what if it didn’t need to be that way? What if instead of feeling terrified and embarrassed and mortified, I could feel calm? What if I could break down that wall of fear and create a blanket of confidence in its place? What if I knew ways to ensure I was going to connect with every person in the audience, believe in myself, and know that I did indeed have something significant to say? How different would it have been then?
The very first training course I went on when I joined Beyond Training Solutions was the ‘How to Enjoy Presenting’ workshop. The words ‘enjoy’ and ‘presenting’ were not two words I’d ever have put in the same sentence before that day. The tools and techniques you can learn and practice mean you don’t have to go through such torment! I’ve since delivered a presentation that was filmed, assessed AND I had to give a practical demonstration at the end; and I can honestly say… it was FUN! Actual fun! Who’d have thunk it?!
P.s If you’d like to experience this for yourself, learn how to get yourself in the right state, feel confident and project it, communicate with your whole audience and overcome limiting beliefs, come along to our two-day ‘How to Enjoy Presenting’ course in London on 23rd & 24th April 2015!Find out more about our Presenting workshop