Presenting A Nervous Speaker

Today my job required something unusual. I was selected to get out of my cubicle and participate in an Engineering presentation for a local high school group. You know, talk about my job, impart some wisdom, help and encourage some kids about their future. What an opportunity!

But public speaking is not my forte. Being an introvert, I prefer to write versus speak. It lets me think more carefully before expressing the thoughts in my brain. Trying to sound intelligent on the fly, even when giving a pre-made presentation, is unnerving.

I’m sure there are several factors that come into play when standing up in front of a group of people you’ve never met and sharing info with them. But to me, not being extroverted is probably the biggest one.

Writing and thinking go hand in hand. That’s why I like blogging. I am presenting, in a way, to a group of people I’ve never met. And it doesn’t make me nervous!

Of all the mixed topics I blog about, my job is not one of them. But just as I hope the info I shared today at the high school helps some kids, I hope my blogging benefits you in some positive way too.

One thing I took away from today’s presentation was maybe to not take myself too seriously. I think I did ok. I had some humor in my talk, and I even had comic relief when I accidentally tripped a bit on the protruding leg supports of a whiteboard. Totally professional, I swear!

The coolest thing was that one of the high schoolers asked me a specific question afterwards about college. I got to do one on one sharing with him and it was more personal.

He seemed sparked by what he heard in the presentation, and it felt good to see him appreciate it all. In other words, I think we actually helped him out! He was glad, and it made me glad too.

I may be well into my career and farther from my days as a young student than I realize, but I still have much to learn. So I am grateful for today’s opportunity.

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