Presentations. This long-held belief was confirmed while giving up a couple of days of holiday to standing up on podiums (I had to look up that plural and it doesn’t seem right) and pontificating at other people. My appearance at one event was thrust upon me by my manager, who was booked to speak but couldn’t make it and blithely decided that since I would be in England, I could be his stand in. The second talk was entirely my own fault: a friend asked as a favour and employed Machiavellian flattery and the offer of dinner into the bargain. And since I was stuck with doing one presentation already, I thought the additional event could be practice.
I don’t know What. The. Fuck. I was thinking. I really dislike being the focus of attention of a roomful of people, although I can more or less handle it in a work capacity. I’m much happier even socialising in small groups, or ideally one on one. Additionally, I get precisely zero enjoyment from doing things I’m not good at, and I’d say I had a pretty accurate assessment of my own ability in this area. Both talks were in week 2 of my holiday, and so however much I tried to thrust them from my mind, their looming reality did on occasion cast a bit of a cloud.
It’s not that I was waking up from screaming nightmares, it was more an ongoing low level anxiety that gradually ratcheted up to extreme as the specific days drew closer. Now that I attempt to find an analogy, it was exactly the same feeling as accompanied attendance at all my maths classes when I was at KEHS. That’s it! I hate presentations as much as I hate maths! And since I get through life more or less without maths, I am pretty sure I can get through life entirely without presentations.
Anyway, I survived both, of course. No one openly laughed at me, I didn’t fall off my own heels and that was about all I was hoping for. So you’d think it was all over and done with, right? But no; because my own mediocre to poor performance still bothers me, so now I have completely pointless retrospective anxiety to occupy me when I wake up in the middle of the night. I’m annoying myself with this crap, and I can’t seem to break the loop.
So, chaps, time to share. What stresses you out, even though you know it’s such a silly thing to worry about? And what do you do about it?