I HATE Public Speaking. A large part of my job is to give presentations. 60-90 mins presentations. Sometimes it could be in front of 10 people, or as many as 60. I accepted the job so I could meet people and do trade shows. The job has changed over time and the presentation part is critical to the success of my job and department.
For the first time in a long time, I can say I love my job. I really like the team. Sure, every job has peaks and valleys, and maybe right now, I could be at the peak. However, one to three times a month when I do presentations, no doubt those days are the valleys. Having to do the presentations doesn’t mean I like to do them. I HATE Public Speaking. I have a really supportive team that backs me up if I trip up on someone’s question. The team setting I work in is why I like the job so much.
I HATE Public Speaking – WHY?
So, why do I dislike public speaking so much? I honestly think its because I don’t know the topic very well. I’ve only been in this department for 9 months. Once I know the topic, I’m sure I will feel better.
What do I feel when I start the presentation. START? WHEN I START? I actually start stressing about it a good full week or two before the presentation date. The day of, or minutes before… SHEER PANIC sets in. Full-on Sweats. My heart feels like it is going to jump out of my chest. Shortness of breath. My hands shake. It is not a pleasant feeling. I have literally gone to the restroom and smacked myself and told myself to “GET MY SHIT TOGETHER”! Oddly enough, that actually helped. I HATE Public Speaking.
It has taken a few presentations for me to realize that my heart IS NOT going to jump out of my chest, and the audience IS NOT sitting in their underwear. What if I screw up? So What? The likelihood that I ever see these people again is pretty low. If I do screw up, maybe I can crack a joke about it. I would prefer getting a couple of laughs than hearing crickets. So, what do I do to overcome this panic attack? Well, simply put, take a deep breath, and just do it.