It was bound to happen. I give monthlyish presentations, and most of the time, they go really well. I feel it. The group feels it. People come up to me afterwards and chat. It must be on a very small level what it’s like to be an actor or musician after a great performance. My own groupies! (ha, total joke people)
Yesterday, I gave a presentation for Bangor Fusion at their Noontime Networks. I spent hours on it, only to realize the day before that it was probably way too long for a less than hour long program. I took out 80-90% of what I had.
Driving over, I realized I made the assumption that there would be internet at the venue. So I stopped at a coffee shop to download my presentation from Prezi.com. I didn’t have time to see how this relatively new presentation software would run without the internet.
Then I get to the venue and there was no air conditioning. So I set up, met a few other early arrivers, and eventually my friend Mel introduced me and I got started.
I’m not sure what it was: nerves, heat, new software, blank faces staring back, hunger, intimidation from having so many peers in the audience (who already knew the stuff I was presenting) but I just started bombing. I forgot the outline I practiced. I forgot words. I said ‘uh’ a lot. I ended way early. It was a deer in the headlight situation but lasting 25 painful minutes. I saw a photographer taking photos and couldn’t even bear to smile.
And I couldn’t stop bombing. Normally, I step back and recover. And usually telling the crowd I’m nervous helps but this time, it only helped a little.
With the clarity of a night’s sleep, I am able to see that this was bound to happen at some point. Some time, things were not going to go well. Yesterday was that day.
Kind of like when you first start skiing and you know you are going to have that first fall at some point. Then you do fall.. and it’s never as bad as you think it is.
So to those of you who attended yesterday, I am so sorry. Please come to another presentation and give me another shot. And thank you for being gratious.
And to those of you who have bombed recently, I feel your pain. But all we can do is get back up on our skis again.
I am not sure when I will present next but I’ve bombed so now that I’ve gotten that fall out of the way, what’s the worst that can happen? :^)