I had to give a presentation at work this morning.
I was sick with worry.
What if I am discovered as an utter fraud, and this realisation dawns on my colleagues as I am babbling?
What if my trousers burst again, as I am speaking? I am aware that the likelihood of this happening is minuscule – largely owing to the fact that in everyday life, my clothes tend to fit me. It’s only when I am on stage do I dress like a Zeppelin in a condom. But this was my time of irrational thinking, in which trousers are worn with the sole purpose of bursting.
What if security grabs me from the podium as I am speaking to tell me that they have been monitoring my worktime Facebook usage, and that I am an idle slag that needs to sling his hook
What if I get confused and start making things up on the spot? This has happened to me before while giving speeches at work. Half the trick is to sound like you believe what you are saying yourself, speaking in a convincing manner. And pray to Dolly that no-one asks you to explain things in more detail.
The speech was only for five minutes, but if things were going pear-shaped then this would feel like five hours.
Just before my name was called, I invoked an inner call to country music, and murmured to myself ‘Dolly take the wheel’.
Those years of performing on stage mean that I don’t get frightened when standing in front of people and speaking. That is one of the main reason I started theatre. But a work presentation is different to a play, as people generally know what to expect, and will have an awareness about whether what you are saying is accurate or not.
I repeated the mantra ‘it’s not what you say, it’s all in the delivery’ to myself before starting.
And when I began it was like I was consumed by a corporate parrot.
The synergies were flowing. I was reaching out for engagement. Relationship management through process flow was dissected. Going forward there will be learnings. I even cracked an amusing joke where I showed my rebel colours by claiming to be inside rather than outside of the box.
At my own tragic joke, I actually chortled with sincerity.
After it was all over I received feedback that my speech had been good.
I haven’t been found out yet.
I may go to an eatery for a bite to eat to celebrate later.