Thursday, January 27, 2011

Impending Presentation of Doom

T minus 10 days. 

I have to give an hour-long presentation at work on February 7, and I am so not looking forward to it. I love my work, and I am completely comfortable with the material. Actually, if you and I were at a party and you mistakenly backed into a corner, I would instantly pin you there and talk about surveillance and infectious diseases in the United States for two hours, easy. But the thought of getting up in front of an audience makes me want to throw up, and then get up at the podium and throw up again.

I've done presentations before, but nothing as long as this one or to this kind of audience (it's a big group of way smart scientists). Imagining them in their underwear is not an options.

Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

I think I would feel better if I could get my slideset finalized, but I keep tinkering. I need to stop toying with the words and start practicing them. It's like writing a story- you can edit forever, but at some point you have to decide it's done. I've got tomorrow and next week to get the words set and to practice in front of any willing volunteers.

At least the hour includes time for Q&A, so really it's only 45 minutes. But, let's be honest, if I wanted to be a public speaker I would have become a politician or... some other career that requires a lot of talking. Salesman! MBA Business-y worker.

What about you, my fantastic bloggees? Anything you're dreading in the next few weeks? If you have to do something you hate (like, say public speaking), how do you get through it?

And can any of you explain to me why, when I have an impending deadline, this song gets stuck in my head? I hear the song in deepest part of my brain, and then I think of Gob from Arrested Development and I laugh hysterically. (Fun fact about me: This was my ringtone for the better part of two years. Everyone always thought it was the song from Rocky.)


  1. Oy, I feel your pain. They stopped asking me to give presentations at work. I had to do a training presentation for our team in India--they gave me 15 minutes, I finished in 3. When I was done they all just stared at me like they didn't know what to say. At least embarrassment fades over time!

    Good luck with your presentation! Practice practice practice :)

  2. You'll be fine. And even if you aren't, even if you throw up, you'll only be embarrassed for like a week, and then it'll be a funny bar story. Trust me on this. I once lost my top onstage in front of five thousand people. Even the horrible fades away.

    But I do think you'll be fine. :)

    No clue about the song, but holy hell, look at them short shorts on the drummer!

  3. My verification word was "Catomine".

    As in, that catomine done need feedin' again.

  4. EUROPE! That's that Canadian band, right? I kid. Seriously though, I love those 80's hair bands.

    Don't fret too much about that presentation, I have a firm belief that being prepared leads to over-confidence. If you have no idea what you're doing then you really give yourself an opportunity to rise to the occasion.

    On an unrelated note, I've been told repeatedly that I give horrible advice. So take it for what it's worth.

  5. I have to conduct trainings at work, and I'm always scared (they are 2+ hours)! I just remind myself that I know what I'm doing.

  6. Thanks, everyone, for the words of encouragement! I'm feeling better now, but I'm sure I'll be a wreck on Sunday and then completely fine again by Monday afternoon.

    I just finished my third run-through. My cat seems to really enjoy it. I'm going to try and practice in the actual conference room tomorrow, if no one is using it.

  7. I LOATHE public speaking! I try to avoid it at all costs. But, that's just me. :) You sound like you are very prepared and I'm sure you will do just fine. Best of luck to you!

  8. T minus 2 days. Feeling more confident and more nervous at the same time. Is that possible?

  9. I meant to come bid you wishes yesterday, but then I sneezed and forgot. That's not a joke. That's what really happened.

    Oh, well. Good luck anyway!

  10. Don't tell me you're getting sick too! I'm already having to deal with a sick librarian at home. I don't think I can handle a sick cybertwin too! :)

    Thanks for the well wishes. That positive energy must have helped, because it went really well. And I actually had fun (kind of, maybe, a little bit). I'm glad it's over!