I found out today that I will be giving a 1-hour presentation at a conference (technically they call it an “un-conference”) on Saturday. I don’t think I’ve ever given a presentation in front of so many people at once before. And I have about, oh… 3 days and a few hours to prepare.
You’d think I’d be really nervous and freaking out, right? For some reason I’m not at all. Ok, maybe a little freaking out about how little time I have to prepare because I’m a perfectionist, but mostly I’m thinking, “No biggie. I got this.”
How is this possible you might be wondering? I was wondering that myself and came up with 3 main reasons I’m not sweating it:
- I have help. Sure it’s mostly my gig and I’m listed as the one responsible in case it all falls apart. But, I asked for help from my team. So now I have a co-presenter to back me up during the presentation (or just laugh at all my jokes when they’re supposed to be funny). Not only that but I asked others on my team to help with the prep work. What goes into a presentation? You mean I can’t just get up there and start talking and hope it all works out? With help it’s sure to work out just fine.
- They recruited me. Whew. I don’t know why this helps. Probably because I’ve spent my whole life proving myself to elders and backing up my theses with 15 pages of research. And this was just too easy. They came right to me and said, “We love what you’re doing and want you to talk about it.” If they already think it’s awesome, I don’t really have anything to lose, right?
- I know my stuff. This is actually the most important reason of the three. I know the topic inside and out. I talk about it nearly every day. And I believe in it. I’m not scared that someone will ask a question I can’t answer. I’m not worried that people will think I’m dumb or incompetent. And I’m not scared of people walking out of my presentation because it doesn’t apply to them or it’s boring–because heck, I know it’s important and that I will inspire at least someone in the audience.
Seeing as how this is my first real presentation though, I do realize that there’s almost no chance it will go 100% smoothly. For all I know, there’s a chance nobody will show up, but I doubt it.
I have a lot to learn. More accurately: I have a lot of mistakes to make. Any last words of encouragement or advice?