The final part of Drivers for change was presenting our ideas at the House of Lords to a selected audience. We had worked on these projects for 10 days and made sure they were perfect. So, this was an opportunity to show off all that we had worked on and learnt.
But for someone who loves talking so much, I was a nervous wreck on the day. I was constantly practising my part and just pacing around the room. It was like my heart would jump out of my body at any time.
Then my friend came up to me and he calmed me down. He gave me some advice, that I feel I have heard before but I needed to hear it again:
He just said smile, no matter how nervous you are, just smile! He then said pick one person from the group you are presenting to and then focus on them as you do the presentation, it will help you remain on track. Then he told me to imagine that all the people have come together into one like a strawberry with all the seeds – that is by far the weirdest way to imagine the audience you are presenting to HAHA 😀
But for some reason I felt a sense of calm and the nervousness had started to dissappear
The time to present came and I thought of everything my friend had said and I stepped up to say my part.
Honestly, even today I am surprised by how I spoke and engaging I was. I was moving around the space and talking to everyone and I was so clear. I even flashed a few smiles.
The funny thing was after the session I spoke to a few people from the audience and they were impressed with my energy and presentation. In that moment I knew, that the fear is all in my head. Its okay to stutter a little in a presentation, its okay to change some of the points as long as you smile and say it with passion.
This doesn’t mean that I will never be scared of presenting to a big group of people, but it does mean next time I will be a little more calmer and a little less scared of making a mistake or stuttering because thats just natural.