Lately I've been craving pizza, so yesterday when I attended a luncheon to preview a presentation of a local contestant prepared for a national speaking contest and saw that pizza was served, I thought: Oh no. Can I control myself? In front of us were varieties of pizza, including some that resembled the type I used to enjoy back home in Findlay. Messy, ingrediants rolling off, the type you just wanted to make a mess with. What happened was what I had anticipated - I started off with control (2 strips and garlic bread) and then I gave in to it. After two bites I knew I wanted more. So I took another two. And enjoyed it!
Prior to our eating, our hostess/presenter shared her delivery intention of memorizing the presentation vs. reading the slides. Not wanting to fall into the trap of reading her presentation, she also didn't want to appear reliant on notes. Her enthusiasm in seeing her preview committee arrive told me she was ready for us, wanting to hear the good news that she was on track and eager to knock our socks off! For me, the hardest part of a presentation is the anticipation of sharing something my audience is going to grab with gusto. I want to hold back, not focus on the juicy details for fear of getting too carried away in the moment and then later disappointing myself.
We introverts don't like disappointing ourselves. We are so hard on ourselves, so often, that when we're on the edge of enjoying what we crave, we teeter.
Our presenter is no introvert, yet she was very hard on herself. She couldn't wait to hear our reactions when she finished her presentation, and she encouraged them. First came what was effective, what she had going for her, and she loved being affirmed. Don't we all?! Then when she learned that those very things she was trying to avoid actually limited her delivery, she couldn't believe her ears. We all knew what she was going through, for she indicated her intention at the beginning.
Getting feedback is something we all crave. We want recognition, support, guidance. We want to know we're getting better. We want to know we're good. Yet the process is so hard. What comes with it is honesty. When I seek feedback from trusted sources on my presentations, on teleseminars I give or on performances with my band, I teeter on the edge, hesitant to ask, unsure if I want to open the email or answer the phone, yet what I crave is just beyond that action. And only then can I feel fulfilled.