I did it! I have successfully given my first presentation to a conference audience (outside of my workplace). And boy did it feel great! I snapped the pic below of people as they were filtering in the room; there ended up being about 50 people in total.
On Sunday night, there was a meet and greet at the hotel for all conference attendees, so I asked to see the room I’d be in to get a feel for it (and to help visualize it in my head). I met a few people, had a glass of wine and some cheese, and whenever I started telling people about my topic, I’d get all fired up, so I knew I was ready.
Later that night, I had a late dinner with my MAPC pal Fiona, and she prepped me even more with a very thoughtful care package! All sugar, all comfort. She’s a keeper!
I must say, on Monday morning (my presentation was scheduled for 1:30), my nerves were really getting the better of me. I stayed in my room and ran through all 40 minutes of my talk several times. Before I went to the conference floor, I stood in the bathroom and took 10 giant deep breaths to clear my head. And wouldn’t you know, it helped. I smiled at everyone as they filtered in the room, and my nerves cleared. They were just people, just from another health authority and had no idea what I was going to say. I started talking and it all went smoothly from then on. Sharing the videos, particularly the flash mob video, caught the most excitement. I even managed to get a few good laughs from the audience!
I’d say it was a grand success in my world :).
Yesterday, I got an email via LinkedIn from someone who saw me speak, wanting to add me to their network, and her note said, “I am impressed by your presentation today. You know your topic so well. You certainly do not look like a first time speaker to a large group. You can add public speaking to your list of accomplishments.”
Isn’t that fantastic? Totally made all the nerves worth it!
Public speaking – check!