SPEAKING UP

Tuesday morning, I did something I haven’t done since college. I spoke in front of 20- 25 people.

On purpose.

That I recall, I have not spoken in front of a group of people (on purpose) that numbered more than 20 since I was in my late teens/early 20’s — and that was for a class and I had to do it to pass the class. Yes, I have spoken to my Bible study group (30+), but that was for about 90 seconds and it did not require an LCD projector… and these women seem to love my stories.

This time, I wasn’t telling stories, I was talking to the upper staff at work about a project I have been working on for several months. This in itself didn’t set my nerves on edge. I was fairly calm about speaking to these people (I did have a butterfly or two, but a very manageable butterfly) and had mentally prepared myself for it and several different scenarios that might pop up.

Funny how I can do that now. If I had done this even two years ago, I would have been a mess and cried and would have begged my boss not to make me do this (and probably thrown up either before or after). As it was, I know I could have asked to be let out of this, but I decided to tackle this fear head on and take responsibility for my work and not hide behind my perceived inadequacies.

In other words, I put on my big girl pants and did what I needed to do.

Truthfully, I was most nervous about whether or not the equipment would cooperate and whether or not I would forget all I needed to say. What broke the ice? I spilled grape juice on the white shirt I was wearing underneath my blue v-neck shirt just before the presentation began (it was a breakfast meeting). This is when I thanked the Lord the presentation with the LCD projector would require the lights being turned down. I started laughing at my unwise choice of beverage as my boss’ boss’ boss (or is that boss’ boss’ boss’ boss?) sat down next to me and said he was glad to have me at the meeting. It was good to know people were glad I was there.

After it was all over, the staff applauded and I felt relieved (and my boss let me go back to my office). I also felt proud I was able to do this and I even borderline enjoyed it. I never thought I’d say that or be able to say it. I received several compliments from staff members and it was a real boost to my confidence to be able to take ownership of my project in this way.

I still have a ways to go, but it’s nice to see some progress.

I am now available for speaking engagements. Contact my agent, Jene’. HA HA HA!

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