I recently had two experiences that made me aware of the value of re-framing the way I look at opportunities to share my knowledge and skills.
Over the month or so, I have had the opportunity to present new tools to some of the executive leadership of my company, and also to present some of my own work to peers at conferences. These sorts of things often result in the following pattern:
- Work my butt off preparing presentation materials
- Freak out. (Silently)
- Freak out. (Mention it casually here and there)
- Pretend it is fine. (Freak out)
- Spend several days before internally mapping out my talking points. (Pretendind it’s fine)
- Spend the day or two before writing them down and practicing them ad nauseum. (Late at night so nobody knows what I’m up to)
- Spend the entire night before mentally rehearsing my speech. (And, attemting to sleep)
- Day of: Lots of coffee, getting ready, dressing the part, and spending the hours before getting worked up,
- Presenting (Breath, breath, breath, it’s cool. Feel the rising sense of red in the neck. Wondering if I have any clue what I’m talking, and, finally forgetting something important.)
Over my time working, I’ve actually done quite a bit of public speaking, but as you can see, the process definitely isn’t super refined yet. But, recently I discovered something of a gamechanger for me. Rather than framing the speech as a critical moment to shine, I have begun to approach the chance to speak as a wonderful opportunity that I am grateful to have. I have begun to look at my presentations as offerings of my experience and opportunities to share, rather than make it or break it moments of stress.
This simple reframing has made a world of difference in my preparation and execution . I kid you not, I am starting to get excited about speaking opportunities as an experiential time where I get to talk about what it is I spend the majority of my time doing – and when you look at things that way it starts to feel a lot more comfortable.
I noticed that when I begin to reframe stressful situations in my life as opportunities to experience something new, or chances to grow, I handle them better and more gracefully.
It seemed critical to note this here, in case I forgetsomeday that this reframing is useful!