I am always amazed at how much time it actually takes to prepare a presentation for a conference or any audience for that matter. I use to think that it had to be easy, you just make a quick PowerPoint and bam done, but it is not like that at all.
You start off by writing down your ideas or brainstorming as a group. Then you take the time to make a sample presentation. Next you preview the presentation and scrap it completely. After more notes and meetings you start it all over again. Once you feel that you have a presentation that will flow some of the stress might ease up.
Then you practice the presentation. This is the start of getting that weird tingly feeling in your stomach and the anxiety that builds up in your throat. You want to do a great job and present your message professionally but you are fearful of looking like an idiot.
My downfall is the obsession with editing and designing the PowerPoint, the finesse of the material. I will spend hours moving photos and text around on presentations until I feel it looks just right. I don’t know how anyone is ok with simple words on a screen.
After all the self doubt and tired fingers you can only do so much to a presentation before you want to trash it and start again. In the end I always realize I never needed a presentation to present the topic.
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