Rob Speaks

Do you have those "What on earth am I doing here?" or "How did I get into this?" kind of moments very often. I don't have too many and fortunately, being of a literal frame of mind, I can usually answer the questions with "Giving a talk" and "Via the lobby". I had one of those today though, just before I gave my presentation. I've met people who say airily "Oh, I never get nervous before I give a talk". Well I do. I regard it as part of the preparation process. I reckon that a certain amount of concern about the way that things are going to turn out does tend to improve the final product. When I fly home on Friday I want the pilot to be fretting to some degree about the success of the take off and landing parts.

So there's nothing wrong with getting nervous, although I have found that if you turn into a quivering wreck on stage this can cause the audience to lose some of their respect for you. I reckon the key to nailing presentation nerves is preparation. If you have confidence in your knowledge of what you are going to speak about, have tested all the props and demos, and have contingency plans if they don't work, then you can just get on and do the job. So, after some pacing of the stage, the appointed time comes and off we go. And just about everything works. And the audience seem to like it. And I finish on time (always a plan if yours is a session immediately before lunch). And they even clapped at one point. Thanks folks.