Learn By Doing

I’d started to realise that I’ve been a little bit neglective (is that even a real word?) towards this over the past few weeks. Whilst you may think it’s common, I told myself this year I wouldn’t take such long breaks in posting. I guess I didn’t stick to that advice eh?

So I opted to right a post… except, it wasn’t quite that easy. You see, inspiration is somewhat… lacking these days. It’s no surprise really, when it’s  been so long, you fall of out the… err… “zone”, as I’ve mentioned many times before. Then I remembered that Automattic had a service that was supposed to inspire you to write posts (They put somewhere on it “Inspiration four-oh-four” – I love it). So I headed over to their website, then headed over to Plinky, where the question to present me was “You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of schoolchildren on anything of your choice. What would you present?”

Let me begin first, I really dislike presentations and public speaking, though, it’s something almost all of us have to do at some point in our lives. So my first thought to this was “I wouldn’t”, the easy way out, I know. But to this day, regardless of how many presentations I’ve done, speeches, interviews, performances etc. anything where to attention is focuses primarily on me, I’ve “hated”. In fact, sometimes I don’t even write blog posts because I feel it’s more attention on me, and real people I know read these.

But let me reassure you, although my instant thought was “I wouldn’t”, it does get easier. Whether that’s with age, or experience, it’s never as daunting as it was the previous time.

One of the main things I find easier, is a “stranger-audience”, where you’re performing to people you don’t know, or probably won’t see again. Why? Because regardless of how much of a fool you’ve made of yourself, if you’re never going to see them again, what does it matter? They don’t know you! The benefit to this is it also gains you experience.

Another thing I think helps, is a familiar audience (of course, it may sound like all audiences at this point – but it’s not). By this, I mean people you know very well, you have know and will continue to know. This way, you’ve “broken the ice” from the first presentation, they understand you slightly more and there’s just the overall feedback afterwards, what was good, bad (but of course, there are never bad points, just tips for improvement).

Finally, the audience I don’t really like presenting to, the “don’t quite know you, yet” audience. People you’ve met for the first time, are going to meet, know for a few weeks. Those people, especially if you’re going to see them again. Of course, they may not remember it, for them it might just be “another presentation”, but for me, if it’s gone bad – I’ll often remember it for weeks to come!

So what about you guys, when it comes to presenting something, what tips can you give us? As always, let me know you’re thoughts in the comments. Perhaps a share to spread the word out too? (Cheesy, or what?)