I was recently tasked with a short presentation at my workplace. The deal would be informing three groups, in succession, on a topic that I am the most well-versed in of those in our office. I would not, yet, call myself well-versed in the topic, because we are early in the stages of this particular project. But I believe I will get there, and I did feel confident that I could do this task. 

And yet. 

I don’t like presenting in groups, even small ones. It’s not something that I seek out or particularly enjoy. I’ve done it enough by this point in my life that I am accustomed to doing it, and I can do it. I even consider that I can do it at a minimum level of competence. But it’s still a bit of a stress, and an unknown. 

So I was glad to be able to fall asleep the night before without any issues. I had prepared remarks, and a handout, and I was as ready as I was going to be. And it ended up going just fine. It was strange to have to turn my head to establish eye contact with each audience member. The room was a little loud, because there were three other groups doing the same thing (some of them quite a bit louder than others). But I managed to get through the whole thing without swearing, and I rolled with the questions that I got, and took notes when points were brought up that I didn’t know the answer to so I could follow up. 

I was surprised by the quality of questions that I got; I might have to volunteer myself to do this more often so I can get ideas from all around the office instead of just in my subsection. And I was pleased that I didn’t have any nervous blushes strike. I managed to keep my emotional investment casual and I’m happy at that. 

I wonder if the months of conducting business over Zoom has influenced how I feel about presenting. It seems like Zoom is more like presenting than conversing, so you have to always be ready to be the center of attention. One person at a time. And the other piece is that I have practiced “presenting” on Zoom so much in the last 14 months. I’ve become inured to the whole process. Vaccinated, one might say. 

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