Posted in give it a go, powerpoint, training, Uncategorized

I was a PowerPoint Chicken

Preparing for that first big presentation is a mine field of elements. There are many things you can control –  you can ensure you have properly working hardware, you can choose the best presentation software for you, and spend weeks researching and putting the slides together just right.
But HOW do you make YOU ready?
Here is the story of how I prepared for that first big presentation.

chickensketchsharon It was a few years ago. I was incredibly nervous. I had no problem with the tech; I’ve always been pretty good with PowerPoint and Keynote. I’d all my notes in the notes view and printed out just in case. But I just couldn’t speak back then. I hated being in front of people. I would sweat and stumble and panic and talk a million miles a second just so it would be over faster!   I’d gotten several pieces of advice on how to prepare. One was to know my notes inside out so I could say them without stumbling and focus on slowing down. I had to get used to people looking at me as well. So I grabbed my ipod and notes and walked around saying them over and over again. I must have looked very silly walking a big loop around Grand Canal Dock talking to myself (these days’ most people would assume you were on a phone call, back then, not so much). I did that for a few evenings and slowly I got there. I stopped minding people looking at me (quite so much) and I stopped speaking as fast. I’ve since heard a story about a little girl who had the same fears before a talk so she dressed up in a dinosaur costume to get used to the stares. She’s far braver than I was! I presented a few days after that. I was still incredibly nervous and had cold sweats but I didn’t stumble or stutter or pause so it at least looked like I knew what I was doing and that’s the most I could have hoped for.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share on presenting? How did you get beyond your nerves? I’d love to hear your comments.



a bit of a shutter bug with a soft spot for antique cameras

2 thoughts on “I was a PowerPoint Chicken

  1. Your post made me think of this post by Hugh Laurie, essentially he says, don’t wait until you’re ready, do things, doing things develops the skills you need to “feel ready”.
    Courage is a strange thing, often people have told me that I’m brave, and I didn’t think I was, because what I was doing felt natural for me. These days, I realise there are lots of things I’ve done before I was ready, and I was nervous doing them. Having done them, I’m less nervous and more ready and prepared to do them.
    I hate not being as good as I could be, and it takes courage for me, but I strive for perfect, celebrating each little step along the way, reminding myself that “Done is better than perfect”.

  2. Wish i could give you any valuable advice, i would just start talking without much preparation.
    But then, when PowerPoint made it’s first steps into this world i had to -more or less- guide my pupils. Without knowing much about the technical part, i prepared them by saying “It’s not about you, it’s about what you are showing, about what you want to get across”.

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