I hate the word 'panties' so much...but this phrase was the best I could think of following a super stressful presentation that I just finished.
I've expressed my introverted tendencies on the blog already. So it should come as no surprise that public speaking is NOT my specialty. I've known about the presentation I gave today for an excruciating 4 WEEKS. In the weeks leading up to it, I haven't been able to think about much else (even with a full home renovation on my hands). The last week has been the worst. Every day and night the presentation was all I could think about. I was trying my best to "channel my anxiety into excitement" as the pros tell you to do...but that's hard. I considered claiming to have a family emergency, car accident, or health issue just to get out of it. I was that nervous. I didn't bail, but boy was I very tempted.
This morning I kept changing my internal dialogue to be a little more positive and spent the hour before the presentation meditating. Both items helped. But no matter what I did - I knew the nerves would inch their way back in. They did, as expected, but I believe I spoke English and hit all the high points. In summary, I don't remember a word I said, but I didn't die. I got two rounds of applause and three hugs afterwards. I don't know if that was because they felt so bad for me or if they liked it. I'm leaning towards the "they liked it" direction, but my constant self-doubt refuses to let me feel completely satisfied. What's new?
Point being? Some days you just have to "put your big girl (or boy) panties on" and do the things you don't think you can do. It would have been as easy as sending a "cough, cough, I'm sick" email to get out of the meeting today, but that's just not what grown-ups do. We don't have that luxury (if you care about your professional reputation to any degree).
In one of the videos that I watched today (to help calm my crazy nerves), there was some really great advice that was along the lines of "there's no right or wrong way to present, there are different styles." How I presented today was "my style" and there's value in that, here's why:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
― Dr. Seuss