This week I had a fancy work event which I was very nervous about. Generally at work I never do any public speaking. I will sometimes speak to a group of about 20, if it’s at a meeting for my manager … But that’s a casual atmosphere where I know everyone. And I am not doing any actual presentation.
On Tuesday morning I had to introduce my boss’s boss’s boss (I think it sounds more fun to say it that way than with titles). I was pretty nervous about this. I practiced the very brief (30 seconds or so) introduction to the point of memorizing the speech.
There are a few ways that seemed like ways I could mess up introducing Miss Boss’s Boss’s Boss:
- In the middle of the introduction, revert to what I would often do while practicing, which was to say “blaaaaaaah!! I don’t wanna DO THISSSSSS!!!”
- Accidentally imply she’s a cyborg
- Wonder aloud how the audience thinks I’m doing
- Picture the audience in their underwear (I’m not saying there weren’t good looking people there, but overall that would be a bad move for my vision)
- Set an oscillating fan beside me, and mimic the fan’s behavior while speaking (you know, look to the left part of the room for a few seconds, gradually shift my gaze and look in the middle a few seconds, you get the gist) … Then at the conclusion of my introduction I would say, “Yes, it’s clear (so and so) is an impressive woman. I guess you could say I’m her biggest … fan.”
Thankfully I didn’t do any of those things. My boss’s boss told me I looked far too serious (which makes sense, I was nervous). I plan to ask him how I did overall … I have a feeling that’ll lead to a lot more jokes, but it’ll be good.