I have a dream! And that dream is to walk out from a presentation/speech/performance being satisfied, thinking “I nailed it!” or “If I could go back and do it again I would not do anything differently”.
Monday the 5th of November 2012 was not the day for this dream to come through. Rushing from class after today’s presentation on our research project “Where is the Babyboom?” I felt anxious and empthy. To use a metaphor: I did not sink the ship but I did not help to win the war either, with other words, I did not sell our concept with entusiasm and a persuasive argumentation but probably said enough relevant things to pass the assignment.
After almost 15 years in school and endless number of presentations I have started to doubt that you can become a good speaker through practice? Is it a gift certain people were born with and the rest of us is just jealous? Our team’s preparations were accurate. We practised several times on different occasions, planned positioning, transistions and phase. We recorded and analysed all team members, gave feedback and made sure everyone was comfortable with their part. Unfortunately none of us could get along with the clicker (wireless remote used to change power point slide) during the actual presentation.
What makes me anxious about this topic is that I want to be a good speaker, I need to be a good speaker. Becuase I am aware that I am not the brightest star in the sky when it comes to programming and the pure technical part of my education. But I have always told myself I will be able to stand out from all the nerds (apologises for stereotyping) in the engineering industry by being a girl, having social intelligence and an outgoing personality. I do not think I will get very far if I can not even stay enthusiastic for five minutes and persuade 15 classmates that our proposal is fantastic.
Nevertheless, I will not give up!
“Fake it ’til you make it.
Fake it ’til you become it.”
– Amy Cuddy