As I stood waiting to give my seminar yesterday, my presenting past flashed before my eyes, from the Tropicana speech contest where at 12 years old I had no idea how red I could turn in less than 60 seconds, to my speech for National Honor Society where I fidgeted around enough that someone asked if I’d like a dancing partner, to my master’s thesis where my nerves were scared right out of me thanks to my computer crashing the day before and a few other horror stories in between to bring me to the seminar. Obviously, with a presentation history rich in embarrassing blunders and deep shades of red, you probably wonder why I would voluntarily agree to stand in front of a room for five minutes, nonetheless two hours. Well let’s say, Rhyme & Reason Design’s success as a business trumps my fears of public speaking.
Being that my past is certainly a prediction of my future, this presentation, although a success as a whole, still had moments typical of my nature. The first words out of my mouth were on shaky ground and after I glanced down briefly, I noticed that once again, Scarlett was turning scarlet. Luckily, I was buttoned-up enough so that only people in the front row could see that I had chameleon-like tendencies. Once the shakiness subsided, it was decided by those in the back of the class that my voice was not strong enough to carry, which meant I was given a clip-on hip microphone. For about five seconds I felt pretty professional, until the mic started only picking up every second word and then I just felt ridiculous holding my shirt lapel close to my mouth to speak.
Once everything was sorted, I was able to continue the presentation without another bump in the road and confidence and candor to boot . The two-hour long presentation covered the broad picture of the social media landscape. I chose to offer a broad sampling of social media information so that everyone could get a taste of the popular new medium. The seminar touched on everything from the history of web 2.0 to crisis management. Questions were abundant during the entire presentation and it was wonderful to see the interaction of all participants in sharing ideas and thoughts about social media. For some the uniqueness of a custom designed fan page was a great find, while others enjoyed the step-by-step approach of discussing Facebook, blogging and Twitter.
Albeit the initial mishaps the seminar was a successful venture for both promoting Rhyme & Reason Design and educating me on how to refine my presentation skills. The end result was a request for a round two of the seminar, Rhyme & Reason enjoying an increase in brand recognitions and me biting the bullet and signing up for a local toastmaster’s group. So the next time I venture to the front of a classroom or stage, I hope to see all of you there.