Turns out I’m really good at it, as is evidence of this post. For the past week I’ve been avoiding working on something I just hate to do. Thursday I’m giving a talk to 20-100 people at work, and every time I think about it, I get nauseous. The last talk I gave was 4 years ago, and thankfully I feel better about giving a talk now, than last time. I lost 4 pounds from the stress last time.
This time, I absolutely know my subject, since I’ve been working on it for 2 years, but the thought of standing in front of everyone and trying to tell a coherent story for 25 minutes is terrifying. It’s one of those talks that you do for visibility, and if I want to strengthen my career, I need to give them more regularly than every 4 years. Most of the people there will daze off and not pay attention, as long as I’m consistent. If I pause or draw attention to myself instead of the content, then I’m in trouble. That’s when my anxiety kicks in and it’s a downward spiral. I remember that kicking in last time on the last 4 slides, and I rushed through them. I’m really good at talking fast, so much so that I can be done in 10 minutes (that’s even worse than going on for too long!). Plus my graphics are boring and pointless. This audience is used to graphs and charts and detailed analysis. I have none of that. It feels so fluffy compared to everyone else’s.
The plan for tonight is to get dressed, find some white noise/classical music and look at my slides. I started putting this together a year ago, but I never have any idea what to actually say during the presentation. I wish I could just distribute a paper on it. I’m fine with people scrutinizing my work, but not in person. I need time to think to respond.
I know practice will help, but I still know it won’t help enough. No one has asked me to give a talk since the one 4 years ago. I semi volunteered for this because I need the exposure to get what I want.
This is something I should be competent at. Enough to be forgotten when it’s over. Not bad enough people will remember how much I suck and awfulness of my voice and delivery.
I’m just fighting myself at this point and it’s obnoxious. I always get in my own way.