When I was at University, I took my studies very seriously. I was always prepared, my lecture slides printed and ready the night before, notes for seminars were made very early on and research for essays was sometimes gathered months in advance.
All in all, I was a good student and although I stressed constantly and cried all the time (hello dissertation year!) I could pretty much deal with anything Uni threw my way…
That is until I had to do my first presentation.
Public Speaking for me, is the absolute ultimate nightmare. I hate it, in fact, I could give lectures on how torturous I find it, but of course, that would involve speaking publicly which as we established, I can’t do, ah the irony.
Whenever we had a presentation, I would do all the necessary on my part, plan and put together my share of the PowerPoint slides and just wait for doom’s day.
The photo below was taken, by me, on such a day, where I woke up dreading what was about to unfold that morning.
Unable to go back to sleep, I got ready and made my way to campus, only to arrive there far too early. I bought my usual hot chocolate and sat in the empty room, by myself for the next 40 minutes – that didn’t bode well for my nerves.
The presentation went as predicted, despite my hard work on the research part of things, I stuttered and messed my words up a lot. I believe I even said ‘trust of boardies’ when trying to say board of trustees. It didn’t even click that I said it until a few minutes after!
During my 3 years at Uni I did many more presentations and honestly, they all went the same. I was always stopped and asked to slow down. Our feedback constantly used to say things like: ‘Good presentation, 1st person good, 2nd person clear, 3rd person spoke far too quickly, hard to understand.’ Me being the 3rd person, naturally.
It always wound me up that this was the one thing that I couldn’t do whilst my friends managed it fine. I don’t think it is something that will go away. I think its just one of those things. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. I was better with the written and research side of things, my friends were more confident with presenting. So I guess public speaking is a hardship for some but a breeze for others.
I’m just glad I haven’t had to do it since Uni…
Post was inspired by today’s DailyPrompt
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