Friday, September 7, 2012

My Biggest Critic

Sometimes it's rough to have a constant critic following you around... okay, it's always rough to have so. Who am I talking about? Myself.

Earlier today I presented at the 2012 USAAA conference in Denver. After every presentation I do I always remember a line I should have said, or I will remember each and every moment that I wasn't 100% fluid. This happened twice in my presentation as, when I got excited about what I was talking about and got animated, my hand hit the microphone making a loud noise. For those there this probably was nothing, but for me the fear of messing up, even for a quarter of a second, is too much.

So the rest of the day I was pretty down on myself. This is how I have always been in my life as I will quickly forget what I did right and only focus on the little things. Yes, I know that the omission of one line isn't that much and hitting the microphone with my hand may seem irrelevant, but I just can't get my mind off looking at what went wrong.

Later in the evening there was an appreciation dinner for the speakers and sponsors of the conference and it was rather awkward for me as I don't really know that many people here. I stood awkwardly, sat awkwardly, and was probably silent in an awkward fashion. I sat transfixed as to how people make it look so easy. How do people socialize so easily? The group at my table had never met and yet they spoke as if they had known each other since high school. All this personal awkwardness made me feel lost.

Thankfully the person to my left asked me who I was and that started a conversation and the difference was noticeable immediately. Every ounce of awkwardness vanished and my presenter mode came through. Instead of screaming in silence I was confident in my words and this persisted to the end.

As the dinner came to a close I was informed of some of the words that had been said about my presentation earlier in the day and they were quite positive. And of course I already had a blog comment and a comment on my Facebook page, but still I just wasn't sure, but finally I allowed myself to accept that maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought after all. Of course, it could have been better, right? Nah, just kidding. It was a huge honor to present here and tomorrow afternoon I will be on a panel about advocacy and bullying and I can't wait for that as well.


  1. You know..i may be on the spectrum..i have to public speak sometimes and never a time goes by that i remember everything i meant to say (part of my little defect i call perfectionism)..i always feel there's room for improvement..then i finally came to the realization that sometimes it's just not meant to be said, and i'm finally okay with that, for the most part:) glad to hear about the outcome and that it was successful in so many ways!!

  2. I'll bet that if I had been in the audience I would not have seen anything at all that I hadn't done before... probably several times. After 30 years of public speaking weekly (sermons, ya know) I've made them all. And hitting the mike is something that your dad does to make certain they are AWAKE. Pat yourself on the back... and know that anxiety is what make ya "good". I'm proud of the work you have done.

  3. My husband saw your presentation. He said it was awesome. Thank you for presenting!!!